Tehran-based Hajizadeh & Associates picked up the Concept design of the Year award at the 2017 Middle East Architect Awards for Chabahar Free Zone Complex. Brothers Kourosh and Amir Hussein Hajizadeh picked up the award.
The cultural complex is located in the southern Iranian state called Sistan va Baluchestan, home to the country’s only port to the Indian ocean.
Inspired by the dry desert and its plateaus, the project also mimics ‘kapar’, or a shed in southern Iran that responds to the climate and culture of the geography. One manifestation of the inspiration is the complex’s low-leveled entrance height, which ensures end-users bow as they enter the building.
The architects explained that the project is set in a very poor district of Iran with distinct vernacular architecture. The aim with this project was to re-identify the architecture with the idea of a “kapar’ or shelter, which will simultaneously align with the architectural identity of Iran’s southern region.
The sibling dup Kourosh and Amir Hussein Hajizadeh also stressed on the importance of the environment, which the architecture paid tribute to.
“Our building is a part of the history of Chobohar, it is part of the mountains, or a part of the sea. It is a part of the environement,” said Amir Hussein Hajizadeh.
He also added that the concept design category was the main award the firm was targeting to win, explaining that it is the category that best reflect the future of architecture.
Th judges complimented the project for being “perfectly suited to its surrounding environment, recalling the vernacular language of its town in a poetic and seamless way”. They also praised the subtle cultural elements incorporated into the architecture, as well as the sustainable solutions that come together.
Highly commended in this category was Reza Kohzadi for his Flexible Bridge concept, which the judges praised for its “fearless creativity and the outside-of-the-box solution”.
The award was presented by Andre Winogradsky, Managing Director for Geberit International Sales.