At first glance, you would expect the Sharifi-ha House with its façade made from rotatable cubes to be from one of the metropoles in the Western world. However, the innovative residential concept is situated in the middle of Tehran, the capital of Iran. And despite abstaining from ornamental elements and traditional materials and colours, it displays more affinity with the construction methods of traditional Persian houses than first thought.
Introverted / extroverted | Sharifi-ha House, Tehran/IR
The city of Tehran is home to nearly 8 million residents. It is located on the Iranian Plateau between the Caspian Sea and the Alborz Mountains in the north and the Dasht-e Kawir Great Salt Desert, at an average of 1000 metres above sea level. A range of typologies emerged in Persian residential building culture, adapted to the geographical conditions and the regional differences in climate. From open living structures in the temperate and subtropical regions, through to introverted courtyard-style structures on the Plateau and in the alpine areas. The newbuild in Tehran masterfully combines the traditional concept of summer and winter rooms in a vertical stack and uses the rotatable timber boxes to create an exciting spatial transformation, which interacts directly with the needs of the residents.
Slotted in between two existing buildings on a narrow plot, the house is distributed over seven floors comprising various recreational areas with different levels of public activity and privacy. The private rooms towards the rear comprising open living spaces which look out over the street are joined by a multi-storey void with a toplight to the modules which can be rotated by 90 degrees. Depending on the time of day and season, the position of the boxes allows for maximum transparency, natural light penetration and additional open spaces in summer mode, or an introverted, compact volume with minimal reference to the outside in winter mode.
The best feature is the custom-made rotation system. This allows the swivelling movement to be performed in under two minutes at the touch of a button, including the lowering of the spandrel glazing and the floor area, plus the attachment to the façade. With its slimline profiles, the Schüco ASS 50 system helps to make the space in the modules seem more open and, in some areas, becomes an interface between the inside and outside.