When you think Iran, do you think Modern Architecture?

Tehran, Iran has a thriving modern architecture scene stemming from a new generation of contemporary design. Iranian architects are pushing boundaries as they exercise their freedom to develop state-of-the-art structures in and around this capital city.

Traditionally influenced by mathematics, religion, and astrology, as well as the surrounding topography and climate, Iran’s architecture is evolving under the influence of contemporary architects that are breathing new life and innovation into the urban landscape.

Below are some of our favourite structures that highlight the best in modern Iranian architecture.

-1- Sharifi-ha House

Location: Tehran, Iran Year completed: 2013 Firm: Next Office

This 1400 m2, seven-story home, features two basement levels, a ground floor, plus three wooden clad rotating pods which contain the breakfast room on the first floor, a guest room on the second floor, and a home office on the third floor. The pods can rotate up to 90 degrees and allow for changing needs of functionality and give access to the terraces during the summer, or if turned inwards to a horizontal position, keep the house warm during winter. This function is a reference to traditional Iranian houses, which had both a winter living room and a summer living room.

-2- Barin Ski Resort

Location: Shemshak, Iran Year: 2011 Firm: RYRA Studio

Barin Ski Resort is a ten-storey 12,000 m2 resort in Iran which blends in beautifully with its natural habitat. Inspired by its surroundings, the resort blends itself into the adjacent snow-covered mountain, like a rocky outcropping that has been windswept by the drifting snow. The 67 white, dome-shaped rooms are similar to icy caves, yet offer a warm and homey place to relax après-ski. The interior approach was designed to feel organically formed, and the pebble shaped windows boast spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range.

-3- Tehran Book Garden

Location: Tehran, Iran Year: 2017 Firm: Design Core [4s] Architects & Urban Designers

Tehran Book Garden includes 13 separate blocks over 36 acres that are connected through vertical and horizontal pathways. Inspired by nature and matching the environment, the green roof was the key to harmonizing the building with its setting. The design promotes the themes of flexible space, transparency, and the fluid motion of visitors while integrating into the landscape. The book garden features an exhibition space for books and other media, a children’s science park, art galleries, a drama theater, cinemas, auditoriums, outdoor event space as well as cafes and restaurants.

-4- Mosha House

Location: Mosha, Iran Year completed: 2016 Firm: New Wave Architecture

To make the most of the view of the Alborz mountain range, architects devised the three-storey Mosha House with cantilevered blocks to effectively frame the stunning scenery. The boxes are stacked irregularly allowing additional spaces to be generated, whereas a roof of each story becomes the terrace of the above level. The house has a floor area of 260 m2 with two large bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool and a timber-lined sauna. The home’s white exterior brings attention its distinct shape and size against the natural mountainside.

-5- Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge

Location: Tehran, Iran Year: 2014 Firm: Diba Tensile Architecture.

The ~270 m Tabiat (nature) bridge connects two public parks by spanning over Shahid Modarres, one of the major highways of Tehran. The bridge has three levels that follow a curved path connected by ramps and stairs. The design concept was to act as an extension of the parks public space, and functionally it connects multiple points on one park to multiple points on the other. Visitors are invited to wander and explore the structure rather than just pass through. The bridge features a 3D truss with two continuous levels, that sit on three tree-shaped columns.

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