splice . design . museinspirations

Benetton Office Concept :: Tehran

Solution:  A reweaving of threads from across the socio-cultural milieu becomes the primary driver of architectural form. The proposed design presents an opportunity to knit together the otherwise polarizing influences of contemporary culture with religious and societal tradition. As a premier capital city, Teheran is a burgeoning node of artistic and educational exploration. The presence of an internationally iconic design label such as Benetton has the capacity to catalyze the mutual expansion of both Islamic belief and cultural exchange in support of stronger community, enhanced privacy, and greater appreciation of beauty.

As an international source of textile design and manufacture, Teheran possesses the essential tools necessary to leverage a meaningful network of fashion through museums, arts centers, historic palaces and university programs. Extrapolating from the act of textile production the building form borrows from the conical shape of thread spools. The outer layers of the building envelope are composed of a spiraling ascension of counterveiling ‘Ribbons’ twisting up and falling down across the glazed surface.  These ribbons are gathered into the building form from across the city’s heritage of passionately held beliefs coupled with Persian influence.

Rising against the urban context, the building’s tripartite form is the dynamic enfolding of fashion, community and tradition befitting of the Benetton mission of unity and commitment to peace and understanding across the thresholds of color through an acknowledgement and celebration of essential tenets within the socio-political and religious realm. Internally, the building becomes an inhabited landscape, reflective of the mountainous context beyond while promoting freedom of movement and spatial configuration. At its northwest corner the undulating translucent façade offers expansive views to the Alborz Mountain while maintaining appropriate shading for the optimal natural lighting of all programmatic spaces. The south façade forms a veil of protection and concealment against the glaring sun. Operable louvers activate the veil in response to changing conditions of the climate as well as constraints of privacy for events within. A further extension of its analogous relationship to clothing, the building skin incorporates fabric and materials including photo voltaic panels and an integrated horizontal wind turbine system to minimize the impact of direct heat in the atrium and contribute to power generation offsetting demand for further energy consumption. Designed in collaboration with Jay Lim, Christopher Reynolds and Melissa Williams.