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Urban Discourse Machine, Yazd, Iran by Darkefaza Design Studio

Project name:
Urban Discourse Machine
Yazd, Iran
Architecture firm:
Darkefaza Design Studio
Mohammadhossein Hamzehlouei
Principal architect:
Mahyar Jamshidi
Design team:
Bahareh pezeshki, Hanieh Daneshvar, Fatemeh Hasanloo
Interior design:
Mahyar Jamshidi, Bahareh Pezeshki, Hanieh Daneshvar, Fatemeh Hasanloo
Built area:
450 m²
Site area:
190 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Mr Emadi, Mr Akbarpourian, Mr Mardani
Environmental & MEP:
Saeed Bakhshi
Bita Rezaee, Amirhossein Mohammad,Bahareh Pezeshki, Romina Ghourchian, Melika Aligholizadeh
Tools used:
Revit Architecture, AutoCAD, Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop
Saeed Bakhshi
white brick(facade), white cement(facade), Painted metal sheet(facade)
Dr. Moghimi
Healthcare Building, Laboratory

Darkefaza Design Studio: Historical identity is not necessarily the only answer for the architectural projects. However, if the approach is to use old meanings for finding new practices which work for today’s city and citizens need, it could lead to a challenging and reliable solution. the recent constructions in Yazd (located in Iran) have brought this city closer to a division between the old civil context and the modern one. The excessive growth of the modern context has caused the architecture of Yazd to move away from its dynamic meanings and turn into an isolated architecture. This project is located in Safayieh region in Yazd, which is one of those modern civil contexts in this city.

Most of the constructions in this area are single materialled with the same form and without any dialogue to be made with the city. The separator walls of these buildings in the street are all the same height and also, they are all solid in material with no transparency, no matter the function of the building. Because of that the possibility of visual communication of passers and people with the buildings are very low and minimum. In this project, a redefinition of Yazd architecture is given considering the function. This practice is done by finding the roots of traditional architecture of historical context of Yazd.

The current project is a machine in response to its internal functions (a complete laboratory) and at the same time it is dual, which on the one hand (south side) is an extroverted creature, trying to communicate with the city and its people in order to be known to the city and accessible to its people, and on the other hand (North side) is an interior building which is trying to maintain the peace of the residential alley and respect its neighbors. In the beginning, this project did not have a definition of façade. But during the design process we reached to a point that instead of using a sign to identify the function of this building, its façade could be the perfect alternative to shout its function and be accessible to the city people.

Excavating the ground and obtaining a yard with twice the volume (instead of the small yard in front of the existing building) led this exercise to create a small-scale urban plaza and give space to the people of the city. This plaza needed an inviting wall that would be tangible for people behind its openings. The general structure of the building on the south side is dynamic, inviting and memorable. A special identity is manifested in the façade of this building, which has all the extracted motifs and meanings taken from the heart of the historic architecture of Yazd.

Functional solutions in the middle of the project development created a different structure for the building. The existing building before renovation had the bearing wall system structure. Inside, there was a two-way staircase that turned the building into two general parts (east and west), this deprived us of the possibility of expansion and integration of the space, which this spatial feature was so vital for a lab workstation. That is why we removed the staircase inside and brought it out in the exterior.

In conclusion, During the whole process of renovation, we tried to bring back the good quality of historical architecture of Yazd into our building and create a new typology for the modern architecture of this city using the same qualities that once were used in this city and had amazing civil qualities.

By Liliana Alvarez

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