The W commercial and office building is located in the neighborhood of Jordan, Tehran, a previously residential neighborhood with low-rise single-family houses or small apartment buildings surrounded by a yard. This neighborhood is now rapidly transforming into an affluent mid-rise business area.
The site of the project is relatively small for the brief it has to deliver; it is a site of approximately 550 square meters that has to accommodate shops and restaurants, offices, independent entrances and access for each section and the necessary parking for the frequent users of this public building.
The high financial value of the land makes it crucial to build densely and to use every space available. Additionally, the complex system of codes and regulations that applies to the building increases the conflicting constraints of the program and site, making it almost impossible to create architecturally substantial spaces.
The building shape results from the stacking of boxes on top of one another, displaced in the north-south direction, each box comprising two levels. This displacement creates terraces on the roof of each box. These semi-open spaces not counted as the authorized building area, therefore being a supplementary sellable area and an added value to each floor. They provide informal in-between spaces for the leisure of the building users in the densely built building lacking voids and empty spaces.
From the outside, these terraces create a perforated façade in the tightly packed row of infill buildings, which not very long ago rose up much lower in height. Covered in plants, these terraces re-create the yard taken away by the mass of the building on a vertical surface.
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