Project: 161 House
Architects: ZAAD Studio
Location: Shiraz, Iran
Area: 4.843 sf
Photographs by: Arash Akhtaran
This suburban garden house near Shiraz, designed for a family of three, embraces nature and human psychology. It blends traditional garden villa elements with a modern glass-box design. The result is a harmonious space catering to each family member’s unique desires. The ramp entrance encourages exploration, leading to a central sunken courtyard, a poetic space for meditation and play of light and shadow. Overhanging balconies offer panoramic views. The basement serves as an open, summery area, the ground floor hosts public spaces, and the first floor is the private domain. This design marries modernity with nature, aligning with our innate connection to organic spaces.
The subject of the project was the design of a garden house in the suburbs of Shiraz for a family of three whose morality was different from each other, and each family member had different demands from their living place.
One of the problems of living in modern metropolises is that the grammar or syntax of modern urban planning is inconsistent with the neurophysiological structure of the human brain, which has evolved in the heart of an organic ecosystem. Weekend villa gardens are buildings designed in an enclosed site, and their function is to create a resort that brings a pleasant living experience to its residents and creates a sense of dependency and interest in the place. The difference between urban habitats and this kind of garden houses that are built around big cities is this: escaping from the geometric logic that dominates the urban place during the holidays and the experience of living in a more organic space that meets the needs of our nervous system to experience life in a more natural space and vivacious.
To achieve this goal, knowing the psychology of those who will stay in this garden house and understanding their needs helps design a more suitable building. By holding numerous meetings and talking with the employer’s family members, we found out that the father of the family wanted to repeat the experience of living in the place of his ancestral mansion, and the ideal space for the mother of the family was a simple, unpretentious space close to modern architectural structures. Also, this space should have an atmosphere suitable for the energetic and playful spirit of the child of the family (girl).
The above provided the structural ideas for the creation of this garden house, and the design process of the project began based on the following three central ideas:
- Spirits, psychology, and the wishes and needs of the owner
- Architectural typology of mansions in the garden
- Discrepancy of life in city houses and suburban villa gardens
This building results from an architectural collage of the house inside the garden with a glass box. These two parts are different in form and appearance, but they serve each other functionally. The ramp that connects the site to the innermost part of the building and the basement is supposed to reproduce the sense of curiosity and the experience of discovering the space for the residents. By crossing the passage, we reach the poetic space of the Sunken courtyard (Padyao), which is the inflection of this project. A high and semi-covered space that starts from the basement level and creates the tallest part of the entire building. This space is a place to walk, meditate in solitude, and watch the play of light and shadow next to the blue water, protected from the burning summer sun and a safe environment in winter. Overlooking and protruding balconies in the Sunken courtyard space create places to watch various views.
The function of the floors of this building is as follows: the basement is an open and summer space. The ground floor is a public space adjacent to the porch, swimming pool, and courtyard, and the first floor is the private area of the building.