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Commercial-Residential Complex (International Competition)




Name: Commercial-Residential Complex (International Competition)

Location: Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi, Iran

Architecture Firm: BRT Architekten [], Design Core [4s] Architects []

Architects in Charge: Hadi Teherani, Sam Tehranchi

Design Team: 

  • Iran: Sam Tehranchi, Maryam Kompany, Ali Nabi
  • Germany: Hadi Teherani, Ingo Hartfil, Heike Heister, Alice Pape, Manal Fakhouri, Zarko Serafimowski, Evgeny Stolyarov

Structural Consultant: Eng. Markus Maier, Eng. Angelos Tsirigotis from LAP

Date: 2009

Renderings: Bloomimages

Status: First Place


The formal concept of the building results from stipulated building lines and construction heights in addition to site axis and road alignments. Thus, it creates a monolithic shape that follows the heterogeneous character of the plot in a subtle way.A continuous band folds down on one end and defines a gateway toward the Holy Shrine while enclosing the block. Its continuity and elongated form emphasizes the direction along the main northern boulevard toward the religious site.

Public, semi- public and private spaces are created within the curves and folds of the structure. Thus a variety of public spaces, from loud and lively to spaces of reflection are created that respond to the brief. The shape of the building, defines an entry to the quiet courtyard in the back. This courtyard is planted with tall trees and water features which emphasize its peaceful character. With the access to the café, and controlled entry via a water feature, it provides a quiet space to linger in.

The hotel is located in a prominent space along the eastern main road on top of the building and defines its presence on the main intersection. It has a central lobby within a glass envelope that is equally accessed from the crossroad and the courtyard.The residential is located in the western wing of the building. It is an independent part of the complex; technically, statically and functionally it is self-sufficient and can be constructed and operated individually.

Commercial spaces are located on the ground and first floors along the main northern boulevard as well as around the courtyard and form a pedestal for the building. An arcade runs around the pedestal in front of the shops on all sides and allows visitors to stroll around the building throughout the year.


  • About the International Competition for Commercial-Residential Complex in Mashhad


Mashhad home to the shrine of the 8th Imam of Shiites is one of the most significant religious sites in Iran. It attracts many more visitors than the holy city of Mecca; almost 10 times as many per year. Given the economic and political power of the religious authorities in Iran, as tourism and travel overtake all industries around the world, Mashhad becomes the center of investment and development in this country.


The obvious need for accommodation and entertainment of the visitors has lead to major decisions in the recent Master Plan of the city. The Master Planning Vision has shifted from the strategy of isolation of the shrine via a green belt to a strategy of reconnection via boulevards. These boulevards are lined with large scale buildings with pilgrim accommodation and shopping as major functions. The site of the competition is located on one of the three main boulevards and acts as one of the three gateways to the religious site


The competition called for entries for a 5-star hotel, hotel apartments, residential spaces, commercial spaces, a public park and a multi-story public parking in a development of about 80,000 m2. The site consists of 5 plots, however the brief allows for and the master plan of the city encourages the project to merge the 5 sites into one.


The competition was held by an architecture office; The Eight Company. The client was a private Iranian bank- Bank-e Pasargad. Of the twelve teams invited to the competition, 4 had been widely known foreign office associates (Atelier Bow-Wow from Japan, BIG from Denmark, BRT from Germany and Guallart Architects from Spain).


The Jury was composed of architects and developers from the city of Mashhad and prominent Iranian architects from the Association of Iranian Architects, including Iraj Kalantari, Abolfath Sepanloo, along with Seyed Reza Hashemi. Of the remaining 11 entries from 8 participating offices, 3 winners and 2 honorable mentions were awarded. The three winners of first to third place will be awarded monetary prizes. In addition, the first place winner will be awarded a contract to execute the project.


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