Located in Tehran, Iran’s largest city and fringed by the Alborz mountain range, the proposed Benetton Head Quarters is based on a multi-criteria design approach. The design employs complex geometric strategies alongside climatic strategies.
The form of the Benetton Head Quarters evolved as a response to the climatic challenges specific to Tehran. To create the form a process of rotating a U-shaped volume around the vertical axis was used, which left one edge of the building open at the entrance and public level, while creating an almost enclosed central courtyard to protect the internal spaces from direct sunlight. The complex overall geometry of the building volume was further articulated through the application of Penrose patterns that cover the doubly curved interior facade using only three different iterations. In so doing, environmental knowledge, digital simulation and mathematical expertise made it possible to arrive at an exciting and feasible answer to a complex design problem.
The translucent volume of the inner courtyard gradually unfolds on approach from the street, lending itself to exploration. The courtyard leads to two levels occupied by retail outlets. The openness of these levels creates a transparency that enables free circulation. By using transparent materials and arranging the more opaque materials in such a way so as to allow views through it creates a physical porosity. The porous nature of the envelope the buildings envelope enables the interior spaces to be visible from all sides. It also provides a passive form of ventilation and light modulation.
The intricate nature of the green inner skin creates a delicate interplay of light and shadows, designed to be reminiscent of the puzzled roofs inside traditional bazaars. Both the outer skin and the inner crystalline skin change in appearance according to the season and transient phases of the surrounding trees.
Offices are spread over five floors. Each floor can alternatively be divided in two, three or four independent offices. Every office disposes of both separated rooms and open work spaces. Therefore the best views to the South and North are completely freed. The crystal skin refracts light into the internal courtyard space, creating interesting effects. The South and West facades are double skinned. We believe that our design significantly reduces the energy consumption of the building.
The quasi crystal theory in modern mathematics demonstrates how the random patterns of particular tiles work in rare cases of Persian classical architecture. Scholars from Harvard and Stanford Universities believe that Islamic mathematicians were aware of this complex formula and they translate it through 3 to 5 model iterations into a practical extensible scheme, allowing simple, fast and accurate execution by artisans.
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