Khorsand Office Block, Tehran by Arsh Design Group

Iranian architects Arsh Studio design the Checker Box Office Complex

arsh_khorsand_00All images, graphics and information courtesy of Arsh Design Group; © by Arsh Design Group; See detailed credits at the end of this post

Arsh Design Group have provided us with this material on one of their current projects in Tehran. We share it with you on desMena:

Concepts behind the design of Checker Box Office Complex

City of Tehran is an absurd constructed landscape. Here, the conventional typology for achieving high density which is that of towers, is replaced by a completely different spatial strategy whereas density is achieved through massive deployment of a mid-rise building type; which is that of four to five storey pilottee apartment buildings.

The dominance of this type has yielded a some what absurd urban morphology whereas the exterior manifestation of the apartment buildings from a street point of view are limited to a single two-dimensional façade. Further more, due to particular dynamics of real state market whereas the price of land in Tehran has reached unbelievable milestone, the investors demand architects to design for a spatial scenario whereas maximum allowed envelope is built to maximize the profit return of the investment.


The spatial ramifications of above mentioned morphology on one hand and the dynamics of the real state market on the other hand intensifies the importance of the façade design in the over all process of conception, development and implementation of buildings since [over]investment on this single façade is the way to make the building standout in its context as unique and for that matter architecturally attractive. Under such circumstances, the architect does not have that much of maneuver in volumetric composition and what is left at the end of the day for the architect is basically the main façade of the building with the maximum depth of 20 to 40 centimeters to be actually designed. So, for every project the concern is how can we design this envelope, or façade in a way that the project stands out instead of fitting in, in its immediate context?


design strategies

(1) building the maximum allowed building envelop into sellable inhabitable space.
(2) providing design based variations that allow the building to stand out as a unique piece of engineering and artistic intervention in its spatial context,
(3) making sure that the adopted design strategies in spatial composition, proposed construction techniques and technologies and choice of materials are not compromising the financial reasonability/feasibility of the investment as a whole.
arsh_khorsand_03 With the above mentioned goals in mind the design strategies that have been incorporated in conception and development of the architectural scheme are as follows:
• Considering the exterior architectural surface or façade as a micro-section that needs to be architecturally developed as opposed to graphically composed
• Conceptualizing the architectural façade as an activated or animated Surface
• Conceptualizing the façade as a neutral yet animated surface that stands in contrast to the humdrum of adjacent urban facades each striving to stand out with some what an exhibitionist attitude
• Innovative construction techniques combined with choice of cheap materials












Architects: Pantea Eslami, Rambod Ilkhani, Alireza Sherafati,Nashid Nabian,Sohail Qandili
Client : Abolghasem Nabian & associates
Structure: Behnam Nateghi
Electrical: Ali Piltan
Mechanical: Ali Ghanizadeh
Construction: Omran Kavir Company
Start Date: 2007
Completion Date: 2009
Total build area: 1400 m2
Photo: Arsh Design Group
Film: Dayereh Studio

11 comments to Khorsand Office Block, Tehran by Arsh Design Group


    Nice jobe, It’s realy amazing…
    that’s how a great interubtion should be, and it’s reflect the understanding of light, so i think that it’s a modern way of thinking of “mashrabia” in the islamic world..
    anyways bd luck and takecare…

  • Imad laham IMAD LAHAM

    gd luck 4 u all guys…

  • shadi zehtabian

    to whom it may concern;
    I just sending this email to show how much I am proud to be your citizen who can see one of the aga khan award’s nominees’.
    Hope win the first prize.
    shadi zehtabian

  • laya

    really nice i have never seen like this good jobe

  • Albert Rodriguez

    Beautifully tasteful use of materials. A very nice job. Compliments from a fellow architect in Miami.

  • azarnoush nazari

    I am really proud of arsh studio and this project

  • Arash

    This is so 70’s. Reminds me of the Expo in Montreal 40 years ago. Do people still fall for these? Not practical and pretty ugly!

  • Farahnaz

    Amazing Job from Arsh Studio. Cannot wait to see your future projects.
    By the way, I was wondering if “Arash” who put a comment here does know any thing about architecture or just wanted to have a comment anyway?

  • sadegh

    When the windows are open is fine. But not good when they are closed

  • babak

    Whoever has been working in a third world country can only understand how difficult it is to produce such a nice piece of Architecture design. Come on, Architects have such a limited palette of technology and materials to use in their work in countries like Iran not mentionning the low budgets and generally low cultural knowledge of building owners that by itself geopardize any attempt of clever and artistic design. In Iran, architects are not only designers but mostly inventors as every proposal out of the ordinary has to be invented from scratch with all the risk of failure on the architect’s shoulder. Good job so and keep on dreaming…

  • ibtesam pooya

    kheyly aliyeh ..awwalam.. look at the fifnishes … yes it might have been conceived earlier on … waaaaly … dar hale hazzzer this is a hopeful attempt ….barikalah … keeep it up ….transforming facades … creating innovative city scape ….

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