Name: Paakat residential building/
Location: Chaharbagh khajoo st., Isfahan /
Architecture firm: Rooydaad Architects/
Architects: Mostafa Omidbakhsh, Zahra Armand/
Design team: Sara Ghafoori, Mahsa SheikhAkbari, Sepideh Gholamhosseini
Site area: 543 sqm/
Built area: 1230 sqm
Executive team: Seyed Mohammad Hassan Abtahi, Ali Nemati
Contractor: Mr. Akbari
Model: Mahsa Sheykhakbari, Ashkan Behjoo/
Graphic: Ali Gorjian, Mahsa Esmaili, Ashkan Behjoo, Shahin Jafari Danesh, Hanie Faregh Defai
Client: Mr. Akbari
Photos: Arash Ashoorinia
- 1st place, in apartment residential category, Memar Award (20th cycle), 2020
- 1st place, Iranian interior architecture award (13th cycle), residential category, Architecture and Construction magazine, 2020
Not long ago, there was “Sibe”*, surrounded by houses, accommodating relatives.
Not long ago, it was enclosed courtyards, surrounded by rooms, housing a family.
Not long ago, this “Sibe” (the semi-public urban space) and this courtyard (the semi-private space), gifted us the “sky”, when we stepped out of the house.
Today, however, this family and every member of the household live in different parts of the city, country, or even the world. Where? In apartments. Apartments, when stepping out of them, a closed space and a depressing environment would only be visible. Apartments with short ceilings and an elevator.
So where is the shared Sky that belongs to us all…
The mysterious blue umbrella…
In the “Packet” project, we presented “the sky” to Mr. Akbari’s family, whose character is in accordance with the general culture of Isfahan, Iran.
First: The being of the Packet
Using the pattern of houses with central courtyards, the “Packet” project is completely closed from the north side and is a complete reticular wall (wholeness) from the south. It is nothing and everything at the same time, just like any other packet!
The “Packet” is a simple, large and reticular box that carries life and thousands of everyday happenings, which can be opened only to the will of Mr. Akbari’s family. It introduces a kind of introversion that is reminiscent of the architecture of the central desert of Iran; the contemporary alternative that criticizes the extroversion of today's urban architecture, regardless of the climate and the culture. The “Packet” is a blank page inside the texture that provides an opportunity to think.
Second: The City and the House; Connected or Detached?
The physical connectivity of residential buildings with the crowded city passageways on one hand, and tranquility as the inherent element in the conceptual meaning of home, on the other hand, raises a duality that can be the main design question of any urban residential project.
The pattern of “Sibe” of urban development in central desert of Iran, as an ideal intermediate space to connect the neighborhoods together and to the city, has been our response to this challenging duality; a solution which has been completely forgotten today due to the issue of ownership and limited resources of municipalities in the public sector and the increase in the value of land and lack of economic justification in the private sector.
Third: House or apartment?
Mr. Akbari's family did not want much, they wanted an apartment to live together but independently. A place where they can call each other from time to time in the morning or evening by opening only one window and maybe invite each other for a tea. The site was inherently an urban infill apartment due to the location conditions. But we were thinking of a house. The same house around the patriarchal central courtyard! The attractiveness of access, spatial diversity, connection of spaces to various private yards on floors, etc., along with the limitations of intercity urban apartment projects and Isfahan's architectural and urban planning laws, drew the spatial qualities of a house in our mind that "Packet" was its physical embodiment
Forth: The Yard and The Staircase
The architectural and urban planning criteria in Isfahan, has filtered the building to the city and the city to the building by restricting the opening height of the building toward the passageway to 170cm, and has drastically reduced the quality of view and light.
the “Packet” project has provided the light quality, the view open spaces, and the openings’ scale without any restrictions and proportional to the space requirements, by defining a north central courtyard and terraces at the distance between the building and the passageway and also their openness in the other direction, while using various open space packets. Like the passageway, the mentioned central yard is also a place for interactions and random encounters of everyday life.
Fifth: Reticular Art
Traditional reticular art (achievements of the Seljuq and Safavid periods arising from the traditional architecture of Isfahan) has been used on the south side of the “Packet” project, so that while ensuring maximum openness and maintaining privacy, the bright summer sunlight of Isfahan can be controlled on the south side.
*Sibe: The Semi-public dead-end alley in ancient Isfahan with gates in front of them as doors to make it more private for locals.