PROJECT GENERAL INFORMATION
Name: Commercial-Residential Complex (International Competition)
Location: Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi, Iran
Archtecture Firm: Bonsar Architecture Office [→], Guallart Architects, Delnaz Yekrangian
Architects in Charge: Mohammad Majidi, Guallart Architects, Delnaz Yekrangian
Design Team: Azar Farshidi, Vicente Guallart, Mehran Haghbin, Zahra Khaniki, Mohammad Majidi, Mehrnush Safdari, Hossein Salavati Khoshghalb, Delnaz Yekrangian
Structural Consultant: Eng. Mehdi Mirkhosravi
Sustainibility: Eng. Afsaneh Tafazoli
Renderings: Babak Taghikhani
Status: Second Place
A 5-star hotel, hotel apartments and a residential complex merge with a commercial center that contains in addition to shopping, opportunities for cultural, educational, health and religious promenades not only to accommodate but also to entertain the visitors. In a city where stroll in the city is the main tourist activity next to pilgrimage, the possibility of a stroll within the complex becomes a necessity.
Eight gardens within the project with individual characteristics defined by their location, activities, or their particular vegetation connected via public spaces compose this promenade as an extension of the city within the project. The strategy of the linked gardens provides an opportunity to combine pleasure with sustainability. The openness of the project and its permeability make natural light and ventilation accessible everywhere inside.
The structure of the building is derived from a decorative motif found on the entry courtyard to the Shrine. The decorative calligraphy is exaggerated in scale and defines the entire building. The interpretation is done in a subtle way to avoid an iconic presence for the project which tries to pay homage to the only icon of the city; the holy Shrine of Imam Reza. The Zarih and the readings of it done by contemporary Iranian artists, in particular Tanavoli are inspiration for the simple orthogonal façades.
- 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.