This medium-sized apartment building in Tehran, Iran features a distinctive brick facade that appears to rotate and wave in a fabric-like manner.
Referred to as “Cloaked in Brick” the building was designed by Iranian Architects Admun Studio, and represents yet another contemporary iteration of Iranian vernacular in residential design, making use of local brick and placing considerations like privacy, daylighting and ventilation at the fore front of the development.
During the last decades there has been a major shift in architectural patterns in Iran especially in overpopulated urban areas. The old architectural patterns were originated from cultural and religious belief of the residents. A key characteristic of Iranian vernacular residential architecture was providing privacy for the residents; however these criteria have been overlooked by contemporary architecture.
The design team faced several challenges; the structure was constructed by another team before we were commissioned the job and the strict building codes in Tehran were an issue. To provide maximum privacy yet fulfilling other features such as moderating light, limiting view from outside, organizing chaotic experience of the terraces and decreasing high-traffic neighborhood noise, the solution seemed to be covering the architectural mass in a grid of openings. Brick appeared to be a proper choice since it has always been used as a local building material in Iran meeting environmental needs while creating numerous aesthetically beautiful textures.
The concept for the façade is inspired from the surrounding neighborhood fabric. The brick texture is a reflection of the context’s chaotic skyline and the openings are located considering the pleasant and unpleasant neighborhood views.
Rotating the bricks provided the opportunity to have various degrees of openings and the rotation angles are precisely adjusted through a dialogue between inside and outside considering sun direction, daylight and level of distraction from the across apartments. Despite the complex form of the facade the construction process was easily executable by workers through simple instructions prepared by employing a system of coding.
The design was an attempt to propose a prototype addressing the current issues of residential architecture in its region through bridging between old and new, proving how local materials and patterns can be used in new ways.