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Tehran, Iran – Razan Architects

Built: 2009
Area: 300m2 (3,240 sq. ft.)

Over the years we’ve got to know a few Iranians (or Persians as some preferred to be known). Without exception, they have all been kind, gentle, softly spoken people. It’s hard to reconcile these people with the rigorous totalitarian regime that has dominated Iran for so long.

A friend's villa - Tehran 15
A Villa for a Friend

This ‘in your face’ extremism makes it hard to visualise a thriving design culture in that country.  Yet it exists today as it has for many hundreds of years. There is a significant middle class in Iran and, like their counterparts in the west, they enjoy well planned and well built homes. The home shown here is an excellent example.

Designed and built for a close friend of the architect, it offers security while remaining open to the world. It works with the hillside site rather than against it. All while retaining a Middle-Eastern feel.

From the architect:

“We had suggested a house… “We will make you a home; fitting the best of friends”. He didn’t wait for something special; a normal villa, just safe and as much from harm’s way as possible. Municipality laws and the high slope of the site (as the first design guidelines) lead us to a terraced plan.

The site was extended to the south-east. A pure, unbelievable, sunlit view in front of us. Therefore we made it like two boxes, one box on the other, like two frames. This allows different views of the same location and beyond while maximising the pure pleasure of the sun.

He wanted to dedicate the open space on the first box to their celebrations and ceremonies, so we moved bedrooms to the lower box and put the kitchen and living room in the upper one. This connected the court yard with the public rooms.

The sloped covering on the final roof is also a technical solution for hard winters and the snow load.

And those scratched wooden covers that attached to the balconies edges? They protect the home from wind, snow, and all who would want to break into the house, for my friend had mentioned security for L.Fontana, the painter we like, and to present an artificial view to the nature.

Main access is the stairway from the main entrance (in the lower level/the border between out and in) to the main entrance of the building (upper box / public room), and in the middle of its way there’s a way to the personal area (upper box).

The kitchen is a suspended cube.”

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Another refuge from chaos that you might enjoy is South India Calling