Location: Isfahan, Najafabad
Client: Mehdi Salehi, Elaheh Ebrahim
Design date: 2010
Completion date: 2012
Site area: 600m2
Architect : Atefeh Karbasi, Ali Soltani, Ali Dehghani
Photographs: Farshid Nasrabadi
Architecture Firm: Ayeneh Office
The land is 20 by 30 meters and located on the southern side of the alley. According to the law, the structure must be set up on the Northern part of the land and the southern part has to be allocated to the open space (the main yard). It is located in an area of gardens that are being destroyed one after another. They are victims of urban development. With huge and tall mulberry trees, the last and the only remaining garden whose owner insists on preserving it is just situated in front of our project (North of the alley). Our initial concept was to consider the house as a respectful message to the garden. Due to trees, the house is retreated from the Northern facade revealing a deep gap in its volume where the staircase and the entrance to the second floor are to be found. On top of the staircase, there is a cozy yard on the second floor, which is connected from its other side to the main yard on the ground floor, linking the garden outside to the garden inside. The yard on the ground floor has stretched flowerbeds and in its Southern wall, some green-painted frames can be seen which look like windows referring to the gardens of the past.
The symbolic gap in the volume, through the functional point of view, divides interior space into two sections: private spaces including bedrooms and bath on the Eastern wing and public spaces such as kitchen, dining room, and guest room on the Western one. In the place where these two sections are separated on the ground floor, lies a square living room at the geometrical and functional center of the house. To access the upper floor, several stairs have been designed; one is next to the dining room and another is in the private section reaching the upper floor after passing a library on the mezzanine. The clients are parents with two children. Their intention was to have a daily life on the ground floor, keeping upstairs for guests to reside. They invite many guests to their house, so they requested a fluid relation between public spaces.
The upper yard responds to a habit of Najafabad residents that is to sleep on the cool roof top underneath the starry sky during the warm summer nights – and completely covered from neighbor’s eye based on people’s religious beliefs. Large surfaces of glass on the upper floor benefit from local straw curtains, capable of being opened or closed to the yard, to create a flexible space. The multiplicity of open spaces for which a convenient access is provided and broad views of closed spaces to the sky are owing to the fact that people in this small city spend a lot of their daily time at home. They are used to living in large spaces, watching the sky. They like to live ‘on earth’, ‘beneath the sky’.