THE ROTATING HOUSE!
Uncertainty and flexibility lie at the heart of this project’s design concept designed by Tehran studio Next Office. Sharifi-ha House features three rooms that can be rotated 90 degrees to open up views and terraces to follow the sun
"The openness and closure of the building is a reference to traditional Iranian houses, which offer both a winter and a summer living room," said architect Alireza Taghaboni of Next Office.
Like many other urban plots, the land for this project had a noticeably narrow façade-width compared with its depth of its length. Consequently, our expertise in transforming a two-dimensional façade to a three-dimensional one became indispensable. Here, the openness /closure of the building’s volume is a reference to traditional Iranian houses, which would dynamically serve as seasonal modes of habitation by offering both a Zemestan-Neshin (a winter living room) and Taabestan-Neshin (a summer living room) to their residents.
In summertime, Sharifi-ha House offers an open /transparent /perforated volume with wide, large terraces. In contrast, during Tehran’s cold, snowy winters the volume closes down, offering minimal openings and a total absence of those wide summer terraces. In this project, the challenges to the concepts of introverted/extroverted typology led to an exciting spatial transformation of an ever-changingresidential building.
The House is distributed over seven floors: the two basement floors are allocated to wellness areas, while the ground floor hosts parking and housekeeping rooms. Public activities all happen on the first and second floors, and the family’s private life takes place on the third and fourth floors.
The project consisted of four major parts; the fixed volume of the structure, the void, and the fixed volume and the mobile volume, respectively. When the turning boxes are closed, the building captures sunlight throughout the space of the central void, which also connects the two fixed volumes by suspended bridges.
The house adapts to the functional needs of its users. For instance, depending on whether there is a guest or not, the guest room (located on the second floor) can be reconfigured for different purposes. Similarly, home offices and breakfast rooms (turning rooms on the first and third floors) can change the formality of their appearance according to their residents’ desires. In the other words, there is always the possibility of having different seasonal or lighting scenarios, some of which have been already considered in the BMS program of the project
The two basement levels are devoted to fitness and wellness, with a pool, sauna, gym and billiard table. Above ground, a three-metre set-back creates space in front of the house for a shallow pool with a glass bottom, which brings dappled light down into the basement.
The applied manufacturing technique for the turning mechanism was in fact a simple one the same method employed in turning theatrical scenes, turning the floor of car exhibitions, and employed by steel companies and the shipping industry in Iran. But as our client himself was into importing CNC and other similar industrial German machines, he preferred the structural system to be fabricated in Germany. In doing so, he could engage his employees in the manufacturing process and thus train them for future maintenance purposes
Considering the specialties of this kind of architecture, the structural system was inevitably irregular. After digitally modeling the structure, a series of SAP2000 analyses were undertaken to examine static/dynamic performance of the proposed system. Being partially moveable is the dominant feature of this structural assembly, which was contemplated throughout the fabrication process by the German manufacturer company. The main loads all rest on the beams of the living rooms.
The house was titled Sharifi-ha House, in honor of traditional Iranian mansions.
Designer: Alireza Taghaboni