Thursday, July 02, 2009

Designing in Teheran / Grzegorz Witold Woronowicz

The international competition Designing in Teheran seeks to modernize the Iranian city by fusing the existing cultural area with a more contemporary environment. Such an environment will include influence from the fashion world through the introduction of new retail areas. This competition is comprised of the design for two towers, Tower A and Tower B, which will provide retail space for the popular clothing store the United Colors of Benetton. The jury has selected three winners for each tower, and soon will narrow the selection to one winner per tower. Grzegorz Witold Woronowicz ’s proposal, which was selected as a winner for Tower A thanks to his teammates Jakub Piotr Kalinowski, Piotr Kus, Krzysztof Rewski, attempts to create a new kind of shopping experience for users within the complex.

More sketches and more information about the winning proposal after the break.

Located on the corner of Salmak Street and Vali Asr Avenue in Tajrish Square, the 1500 m² lot will feature the 12 level structure (including four below ground levels). The competition outlines the specific programming for each floor such that the underground levels must provide parking and storage space; the ground and first floor (1200 m² each) must be subdivided into 3 commercial units, the second to fourth floor (900 m² each) are designate for office space; the fifth and sixth floors (675 m² each) are for office facilities; and the seventh floor (675 m²) will be apartments.

The designers’ approached the project as a way to create not just a dynamic modern retail area, but as the opportunity to address the shopping behavior of modern users. The designers address the social change of how modern retail spaces lack the dynamic atmosphere the old markets had with their lively chatter and friendly atmosphere. In an effort to inspire that same kind of shopping space, a passageway that functions as an “inner street” runs through the building. The two green areas that boarder the passageway give more of a private feel to the space and also create a lush environment for the shoppers. ”The passage idea…is nothing new. But the way of shopping is. It forces customers to think about other people in the shop,” explained the architects. “A big slide fixed to the ceiling. Clothes are hanging on it. If you want to see some item you have to move also some other clothes to get yours. This could cause inconvenience to the others. If you want to avoid it, you have to negotiate with other customers interested in this group of items how you can move all the clothes not to disturb them,” he added.

The building’s form is a modern-take on the ziggurat, a historic icon for the region. Clad in engraved aluminum panels inspired by traditional Persia decorum, the façade protects the interior from over-heating and creates a decorative, complex shade for the interior. On the upper levels, which include offices and residence areas, the window shutters are also made of these panels so the façade stays continuous in its design.

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