The project’s primary design methodology began with an investigation of architectural history of bazaars in Iran and the city of Mash-had. Since time immemorial, the unbreakable bond between the city bazaars and the foundations of the economy has led to bazaars taking on an important and consistent role in people’s daily lives. The principal morphology of the design is inspired by bazaars such as Sar-Shoor, Farsh and Reza. Among the key characteristics of such bazaars is the porch-like entrance hall that, similar to the main portal, guides the pedestrians inside. Individual arches and porches all ultimately lead to the bazaar’s main entrance. Using vaults and arches to cover large openings is yet another visual characteristic of bazaars. The Kang village un suburban Mash-had was also studied for its historical significance and its notable staircase structure which takes after the geographical position of the village in the mountain hillsides. The formation of balconies in each house in the mountain slopes, chained together in a layered fashion, has greatly contributed to the core foundation of our layered garden design.
The everyday life of each and every one of us today largely involves social functions and activities in which we participate on a daily basis. To improve the individual’s social life and collaboration with others, one of the most important city design structures deals with producing accessible and appropriate public spaces. In the absence of such spaces in Iran, we decided to put public and social spaces to a challenge and attempt to conceptualize an ideal possible option. The project’s principal idea is to present a new perspective on public urban spaces of which many Iranian cities such as Mash-had are in desperate need.
Tagh Behesht is located in Mash-had, Iran. The project’s site has great potential to become an urban hub, given its proximity to one of Mash-had’s largest public parks which encourages and invites visitors of all ages. At the same time, its strategic geography allows it for it to become a major attraction for tourists and visitors of nearby countries since Nation Park is among Mash-had’s first tourist attractions, inviting many travelers and tourists every year.
In light of the project site’s analysis, Mash-had has only a few green spaces given its area. The city’s public bazaars as the main social hubs and its business districts are concentrated in the city center and away from such green spaces. Therefore, we decided to design a new type of “Commercial Complex” with a more serious outlook towards Mash-had’s public spaces.
The presence of Mellat Park next door allowed us to clear a visual path to the park to create better views and more accessible gateways for visitors. This opening, so named layered park, is inspired by the Kang village near Mash-had where ground floor layers are connected to the upper layers using a walking pathway.
One of the main ideas in the project’s future design is connections to the city using pedestrian bridges to create safe and enjoyable walkways. The important principal behind the design of such bridges is to incorporate nature and green spaces as platforms situated in different areas around the project to produce a more pleasant experience and a net positive environmental effect. These bridges, acting as pedestrian footpaths, present a new city experience for visitors by creating a different perspective of the city away from traffic.
The flat middle garden much like a city junction is the intersection between all suspended pedestrian bridges, which invites the city in, eventually connecting the remaining business floors and bazaars. This garden acts as the project’s main connection hub and is the promenade ultimately allowing circulation between the project and the bridges. The public garden floors much like the bridges extend the available views, improving the relationship between the business units and the visitors.
One of the more interesting components of this project is the suspended courtyards in between the office areas which provide a green space for all floors and business units as well as sufficient and direct light for office spaces. Our main concern in designing such green spaces was to ensure proper distance between current business units so as to allow for a beautiful and open landscape; a design concern which has never been considered in any of the Iran’s current office building designs. The general typology and shape of this void is such that it is in continuation of the main layered garden without providing direct public access.
The building’s exterior design is inspired by arcs frequently found in Mash-had’s prominent bazaars such as Sar-Shoor Bazaar and Reza. The brick mesh crust, as the second shell, blocks the unpleasant light from east and west, while still filtering a mild degree of light into the office areas.
Water has always been a symbol of life and serenity and a vital cause for inhabitation. Moreover, water is a brilliant influence on producing clear air and breeze specially in dry and hot areas such as the city of Mash-had. Construction of a small pond in the lower building floors not only allows for cool airflow during hot summers but also creates a beautiful and enchanting view.