Architizer chatted with Moein Nikaeen, Principal architect at Disc Architects Studio to learn more about the project.
Architizer: Please summarize the project brief and creative vision behind your project.
Moein Nikaeen: Chabahar Beach Café is defined as a renovation project in Lipar region, Chabahar. The existing building was split from the adjacent plaza by an intense boundary. The main concept of the project was considered to provide a connection between the building and the plaza. By applying a grid on the project’s site, several square-shaped platforms were created. These platforms were emplaced in different height levels, linking the building and the plaza gradually. Consequently, the project’s program is expanded, resulting in creation of various activities happening on the platforms.
What inspired the initial concept for your design?
By starting the process of design, project’s site was analyzed. We came to the point that the existing building had a poor connection with its neighborhood. Making a connection between these two parts, became the main issue of the design.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
The most unique component of this project is the organization of platforms that connect the building and the plaza in a gradual manner. In other words a gradient was created which brought the café a standout characteristics.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
One of the main challenges we have faced during the design process, was the placement of aforementioned platforms. They had to be put in a gradual way while creating enough space for any type of activities happening on them. Also, a logical access had to be designed within. By analyzing different alternatives, we found the most responsive answer.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
Our project took place in Chabahar, which is the southern part of Iran. This area has a rich culture including art, history, music, traditional rituals, literature, myth and tales, natural phenomena and many more. This led us to a process in which we started thinking about how to give the users a space for representing all the possible activities connected with the existing culture.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
The Lipar region has warm and humid type of weather. The high temperature led our decisions towards neutral and cold atmosphere. We decided to choose white and grey materials in our design’s mood board and also applied glasses in order to make a strong connection with the significant scenery outside the café.
In what ways did you collaborate with others, and how did that add value to the project?
In the beginning of the studies, some field researches were done by our team members in order to find out what is the native people of Chabahar’s thoughts and believes about having a café in their region. Collaborating with them gave us a better point of view from the outset.
Were any parts of the project dramatically altered from conception to construction, and if so, why?
Since the construction has just begun, no alteration from the concept has been decisioned yet.
How have your clients responded to the finished project?
Our client has been really satisfied with the originality of the design so far. As the construction is in its initial steps, we hope that this satisfaction would remain constant.
What key lesson did you learn in the process of conceiving the project?
What we find as the main issue of the project, is the figure-ground diagram which plays a major role in our designs. Our approach is to find a relation between the building and its context.
How do you imagine this project influencing your work in the future?
Prior to the renovation, Chabahar café was a local public space with native users. The result of the design expanded the scope of it from a local café to a destination for tourists, both in urban and national scale. What influenced our work was how a local and cozy café could make humongous changes in its surroundings.
Principal Architect: Moein Nikaeen
Design team: Bita Rezaee, Noura Sam, Behnam Dalili, Parsa Batebi, Mohammad Mirzaei
3D Visualization: Saeid Yousefvand, Ehsan Danandeh
Client: Baset Houti
Special thanks to our partner “Farid Behtash” for his support