Modern Stained Glass Meets Tradition in Tehran

Inspired by materials and traditional Iranian architecture, the facade of this new apartment building in Tehran is comprised of slatted timber in combination with stunning stained glass.

The work of Iranian office Keivani Architects, the architects in particular wanted to include a modern interpretation of of the orsi window, a type of traditional sash window in Iran made up of latticed wood and coloured glass. This type of window has traditionally been used in the region’s architecture as way of reducing sun and heat gain as well as well as repelling insects.

On the street side of the project, the facade comprises a double layer of heat-treat timber with stained-glass insets. Matching timber slatted sunshades can be raised over the windows as sunshades to provide additional solar control. And in a green move, wooden flower boxes are mounted onto parts of the facade., complimenting a completely vegetated roof garden.

The beautiful materiality of the facade is further enhanced by travertine stone window frames that have a unique funnel-like shape to help further reduce heat build up in the building.

Moving inside, the ground level lobby has a common staircase finished with a glossy, dark stone to reflect the small spotlights mounted into the ceiling. Small pigeons, a symbol of peace is Iran are set into small niches in the staircase’s wall. The courtyard provides access to underground parking and is decorated with mosaics that form grassy patterns.

The materiality and nod to tradition in the building beautifully express the genius loci of the country.. But the result did not come without considerable challenges given current circumstances n Iran.. The architects note that ‘due to the location of the building which is situated in the economically intermediate area of the city, we were confronted with economic constraints in the project and the architectural group using the inexpensive material and the type of design has implemented creativity in the work.’