Name: Praying Room Location: Tehran, Iran Architecture firm: D.A.Z. Architects, Planners and Engineers Architect: Kamran Diba Date: 1978 Type: Religious Client: Plan and Budget Organisation
Praying room is a sculptural environment, which consists of a small open-to-sky room for prayer and contemplation. The inner room is shielded by an outer shell, which protects it from alien intrusions (visual and street noise). The inner room is rotated within the outer shell to accomplish an axial orientation toward “Qebbleh", the direction Muslims should face when praying."
The design is based on two intersecting routes. One links the surroundings with the park, bisecting the corner by means of a pathway dividing a vast lawn. Approximately two-thirds along its length, a cubic volume rises as a landmark. This structure is composed of two cubes, both open to the sky, one of which is set within the other. The inner volume is rotated within the outer such that the orientation is directed toward Mecca. Two narrow, full-height slits on this axis express this orientation in their framing of a pole positioned some distance away. While further enhancing the process of meditation, it is intended to establish the role of nature as a medium to reconstitute man's spiritual integrity.
A secondary route connects the carpet museum to the park, and in doing so establishes a proximity between visitors and cubic structure. The route, composed of a system of terraces, steps down from the museum to intersect with the diagonal pathway along its length. The terraces about the wall separating this area from the existing park. At the point of its intersection with the diagonal pathway, the wall is pierced to form a portal or gateway. This large, square opening not only spans the pathway, but also frames the cubic volume.
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