Karafarin Bank / NextOffice
AreaArea of this architecture project
Area: 800 m²
YearCompletion year of this architecture project
ManufacturersBrands with products used in this architecture project
Manufacturers: ArcMetal, LG, Venus glass
Lead Architects: Alireza Taghaboni
Text description provided by the architects. At our first encounter with the site, the unusual proportions of this rather small piece of ground caught our attention. This irregular geometry together with the remaining marks of an old construction, including the outline of an old villa and a ramp, were the last signs of what once was there. Still visible on the walls, the vestige of the old house felt like a chalk outline drawn at a crime scene, preserving the last trace of the victim’s presence in the world. The evidence suggested that this villa was one of the last survivors of its kind in the Shemiran region.
We got curious about the probability of summoning that old house to the site by means of a new architecture, and through making a reference both in terms of the memory of place and the old mass that no longer exists. It required several years of challenge and arguing with the employer to persuade them not to construct extra stories over the building. We had to prove that constructing only a one-and-a-half-floor building could add such great value to the project that it is worth forgetting about some extra floors.
In organizing the interior spaces and the architectural sections, we used mezzanine floors, a pitched roof in the interiors, an exposed staircase, and a green outdoor balcony, to merge the architectural characteristics of a house into the office spaces while refraining from generic administrative spaces as far away as possible.
The project’s materiality was quite another challenge, whether in terms of design or the frustrating struggle of getting owner approvals. It was necessary to find some kind of exterior material that could distinguish the whole project from the surrounding residential area by manifesting its administrative nature. Project materiality also had to enable the creation of a formal plasticity to unify the roof and the walls, while implying temporality and age, and providing durable roofing that can withstand sun and rain.
The result is a project that spatially, formally, and materially stands on the border of a bank and a residential building. Karafarin project acts as an object that, while separating itself from its surroundings by means of scale and form, gets closer to the old villa more and more. Probably it is willing to become something between a precious metal chest slowly covered with the dust of time and a villa.