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Zav Architects designs cultural centre derived from stepped urban platform and domed structures
Iran Architecture News - Sep 18, 2019 - 12:32 12401 views
Two domed structures are connected with a stepped urban platform to form a public space that serves for the people of Hormuz Island in Iran. Tehran-based architecture studio Zav Architects has built a cultural centre that includes a tense construction strategies in the Hormuz Island, then the architects developed their own participatory construction process to build this structure and make it more meaningful.
The building, named The Rong Cultural Centre, contains a tourist information space, café, a bike rental shop, event management center. The 300-square-metre building is situated on the island of Hormuz where people cared about "Hormoz Red Soil" and many local materials to protect their island’s natural resources.
"The island is economically stressed out and has a history of consecutive failures when it comes to environmental issues," said Zav Architects.
"Hormoz Red Soil” has long been a matter of tension and the matter has been and still is perceived by many locals as plundering of their island’s natural resources," added the architects.
The client, in fact, started the project in the island in 2014, but the people of Hormuz burned some parts of the construction. Afterwards the client decided to have a more calculated presence in Hormoz, explained the architects.
Due to limitations of resources, a participative process has been set up by the client and the architects. Then they held many multi-disciplinary brainstorming workshops for the "Presence in Hormoz" as an overarching vision, which was further developed to a set of strategies and tactics of an intervention plan.
"The first series of project that were planned to be executed based on environmental, self-sufficiency, and simple implementation features is going to target a sort of Hormoz-oriented tourism infrastructure: A community center, a tourist information center, a passenger station, a series of bicycle rental stations, cafes and restaurants, a waste recycling management center, a variety of tourist accommodation centers, multiple urban public spaces," added the architects.
"First, a community center was set up temporarily to gain the participation of Hormozians."
Then the architects set up a series of studies on the morphology and constituting elements of the Rong Cultural Centre. After consideration of local and international case studies, the design team came to the conclusion that the rammed soil system and especially Nader Khalili’s SUPERADOBE could be appropriated and retrofitted with more contemporary solutions to be used in Hormoz.
"Rong" was the name that the architects chose for this complex. Rong is an urban space that people can walk on it. It has harmony with the island’s geomorphology and is iconic at the same time.
Its presence in Hormoz brings pride for Hormozians. In its implementation, the adopted sandbag technology was combined with steel structure covered with cement.
Two domed structures create a stepped urban platform that the Hormuz people can sit and interact, or spend their daily life. One dome contains tourist information centre, and the other offers a cafe space. Underneath the urban stairs, the architects design storage, kitchen and a recycling collection space.
"Rong accepts the people's reality and invites their participation and engagement. It is sustainable and recyclable and, it is built fast and with ease and as such, it can be replicated again and again," explained the studio.
"Perhaps we can summarize the design policies and construction goals of this project in few questions that we can ask from ourselves and the architecture," the architects asked.
"Can architecture bring back booming era to the poor city of Hormoz and draw a more hopeful future for Hormozians? Can architecture save us from an unnecessary conflict?"
"Can architecture function as an active agent in an environmental issue by protecting limited soil resources from unfair plunder and save it for the next generation?"
"Can a Lab Experiment of building our predecessor (Architect Khalili) transform to a full-fledged Urban Solution? Can a public topographic space be built based on natural geo-contours and out of local ego-particles?"
"Can we secure our intervention steps by testing techniques prior to the field? Does a building need to be “tall” to change the skyline?"
All images © Soroush Majidi
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