"a House for an Architect" Workshop

The Architecture Studio of Amirabbas Aboutalebi who has accepted the offer to Design a House for a former colleague presented the idea of running a competitive workshop. The site was located in Yazd within a ten-minute ride from the historical context of the city. The client was obligated to opt the winning project of the workshop in order to execute, construct and pay for all publication costs of the workflow in Villa magazine in return for the 100% discount on the design contract fee.

From the set of contemporary Iranian architecture strategies, health standards, energy saving, and each panelist’s personal perspective devised ten major criteria by which the projects would be evaluated:

  • Considering the interests of the employer
  • Considering the demanded updates Iran’s Architecture
  • Consider the quality of life in several decades
  • Susceptibility to climate and climate change
  • Easily built and preferably by application of local technology
  • Beauty and originality in design
  • The clarity and comprehensibility of the project
  • intelligent use of space and compatibility
  • Promotion of Physical and Psychological Health of Residents
  • Providing required conditions to be inhabited for decades

The architectural design process by each participant will be reviewed by famous and well-known architects; Rana Saghazadeh, Shahin Heidar and Hooman Balazadeh during design development on how successful the work have been in meeting the consideration & criteria of the workshop. Supported by the Iranian Architect and contemporary architecture of Iran’s medias, call for registration was announced for all interested recipients in July of 2017. amongst the top volunteer’s CVs, 10 groups from the cities of Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Zanjan and Yazd were selected to attend the workshop. The recipients were from different backgrounds from freshmen architecture students to employed and unemployed graduates and professional consultants whose participation fees were sponsored by the YOUB Group.

The introduction session was held in the headquarter of Villa Magazine with attendance of the strategy consultant of the workshop, Engineer Haeri Mazanarani, chief editor of Andishe Iranshahr magazine, on September 21, 2017 when the main intellectual approaches of the workshop and the client’s requirements were mentioned. After two months of very serious work and effort, the groups of participants in the workshop provided final documents featuring architectural designs and final models at a scale of 1:100 on November 2017 ,29, for submission to the works exhibited by the Secretariat of the workshop.

Review and evaluation sessions of the produced works after question and answer on the works in the exhibition hall with the presence of the head of the groups, members of the design team, the owners of the work (husband and wife), Mr. Mohammad Reza Haeri Mazandarani, Amir Abbas Aboutalebi, Hooman Balazadeh, Shahin Heydari, Ali Akbar Nasrabadi and Fatemeh Tajik were held at the main conference hall of the Communication Museum. The exhibition was held from 5 to 13 December of 2017 at the site of the National Museum of Communication of the Islamic Republic of Iran located at the headquarters of the National Garden of Iran with the full support of the museum and the chairman of the time, Mr. Ali Akbar Nasr-Abadi and exposed to visiting architectural students and other interested parties. Sustainable architecture media provided a visual presentation of the exhibition. On November 22, 2017 the evaluation and critique’s panel including Hooman Balazadeh, Shahin Heidari and Rana Saghazadeh participated in the evaluation roundtable of the workshop in the VIP hall of the Post Museum of Islamic Republic of Iran. In this session team leaders and workshop participants heard each jury’s comment on their project and visited the exhibition.

Concluding the overall feedbacks, the final products of the 2nd and 10th group caught the attention of the jury. After a second analysis of energy consumption the 2nd project led by Saeed Partovi in cooperation with the design team members including Adel Afsharmanesh, Mehrzad Esmaili Charkhab, Ali bidram and Sajad Pourhosseini was announced as the final winner.

This roundtable was held with the participation of the manager of communication museum, each team’s member and representative, Engineer Mohamadreza Haeri, counsaltant and workshop strategist, Sadra Boushehri, manager of Youb group and his spouse the the client and her spouse.

First Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Maryam Mahdavi, Davood modares, Zahra Sharifi


Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the First Group:

  • Disintegrated material expression and its irrelevance to the volume concept or the project’s relations
  • Exaggerated diagrams in comparison to the project development
  • Ability to develop into purer expression
  • Praiseworthy visual quality at the main entrance
  • Allowing airflow through the project
  • Shahin Heydari’s comments on First Group:
  • Commendable vernacular concept
  • Expected compliance with the region’s climate
  • Admirable idea of inferior cavity at the entrance which could develop into a more daring design
  • Incoherence of the plan drawing and light penetration depth
  • Admirable purity of the volumes and necessity of its development

Rana Saghazade’s Comments on the First Group:

  • Acceptable presentation of interior and exterior spaces
  • Requiring further regard to location of openings
  • The existence of the back yard in the project is not recommended

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the First Group:

  • Unattractive entrance design
  • Appropriate building context provisions
  • Suitable locating of the interior spaces
  • Recommended removal of level differences per floor
  • Suitable interior design and fine application of brick (compatible to the vernacular culture)

Second Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Saeed Partovi, Adel Afsharmanesh, Mehrzad Esmaeili Charkhab, Ali Bidram, Sajad Pourhoseini

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the second Group:

  • Innovative model that acts incorporation with the surfaces scenario
  • Incoherence of the presentation of sheets and physical model
  • Devising an innovative method for air suction through the front and back courtyards
  • Disintegration of façade development and the overall project

Shahin Heydari’s comments on second Group:

  • Fine drawing of the ventilation diagram
  • Cautious application of noble concepts in the design
  • Allowing prevailing wind flow inside the building that consequently resolves in cooling the exterior surfaces of the building

Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the second Group:

  • Agreeable spatial diversity and good design
  • Inappropriate locating of openings and skylights in the main view

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the second Group:

  • Understandability of the project through successful presentation of the design with an innovative model and agreeable drawings
  • Acceptable consideration of ventilation and interior architecture
  • Weak entrance
  • Suitable articulation of main spaces

Third Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Pouya Barzegar

Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the second Group:

  • Acceptable space articulation
  • Appropriate spatial hierarchy
  • Implementation of improper openings in facades
  • Insignificant courtyard for providing natural light to interior spaces

Fourth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Fourth Group:

  • Disproportionate economic and scale of the project in relation to the use of mechanical parking
  • Excessive conflict for space which has resolved into the minimization of the main goal
  • Composition of a delightful Entrance and corridor
  • Excellent capability in designing spatial qualities
  • Poor functioning of the courtyards to provide comfort in performing daily life activities due to overstating aesthetic and lighting issues
  • Over-minifying the spaces
  • Dominance of spatial articulation to the logic of design

Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the Fourth Group:

  • Fine interior renders
  • Requires more attention to interior lighting

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Fourth Group:

  • Positive regard of entrance design
  • Disregard of the conveyance of light and airflow
  • Appropriate contemplation of execution and structure due to being relatively easy

Fifth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Mohammad Fasahat

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Fifth Group:

  • Analysis of the behavior of the wind tower in the project
  • Impossibility of a chimney flow due to employment of glass

Shahin Heydari’s comments on Fifth Group:

  • The possibility of amplifying the wind flow by the corridor
  • The excessive depth of light wells.
  • Courtyard and wind tower as appropriate elements of the project
  • Incapacitation of the courtyard and wind tower by the employment of the glass
  • Inadequacy of the project to provide natural lighting for the spaces

Rana Saghazade’s Comments on the Fifth Group:

  • Appropriate space and renders
  • Requires more attention to the proportions of the openings in relation to the interior space dimensions and the orientation of optimal lighting
  • Unfitting shading of the volume composition and its adverse effect on the connected spaces

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Fifth Group:

  • Ambiguity of ventilation and lighting
  • Appropriate attention to vernacular elements such as central courtyard and wind tower
  • Agreeable drawing

Sixth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Alireza Rezauimehr, Pedram Rayanpour, Samin Golshan, Mozhan Ayatolahi

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Sixth Group:

  • Developing the design with accentuating the open (empty) spaces within
  • Proper analysis and development of the project in comparison to the progress of the design process
  • The idea of recycling the bricks of old cities
  • Lack of unity in the concepts of exterior facades and interior spaces
  • Weak model making technique
  • Absence of courtyards which are related to the interior spaces

Shahin Heydari’s comments on Sixth Group:

  • Concept Incoherence in the overall project
  • Proficient articulation of the interior spaces
  • Defining luminous cores in the project
  • Advantageous implementation of recycled bricks

Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the Sixth Group:

  • Fine interior renders
  • Requires closer regard of locating the main volumes and analysis of lighting provision for interior spaces

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Sixth Group:

  • Proper application of the materials
  • Inefficient spatial access
  • Agreeable renders
  • Vague spatial lighting and ventilation
  • Segregation of the building from its surrounding

Seventh Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi,Deniz Ebrahimi Azar, Yasaman Froutan

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Seventh Group:

  • Vague Application of the design keywords
  • Association of the courtyard with the residence
  • Requiring closer attention to drawing documents
  • Proper spatial articulations
  • Development of the organization of the spatial pattern through geometric structure approaches
  • Composing several layers of studied data yet not reaching a homogeneous structure
  • The Flexibility of the project

Shahin Heydari’s comments on Seventh Group:

  • Suitable structural concept
  • Uncertain orientation towards the climate issue
  • Proper proportions of the interior spaces
  • Agreeable proportions of the project

Rana Saghazade’s Comments on the Seventh Group:

  • Acceptable overall quality of the project design
  • The void’s dimensions are prone to be too small
  • Preferable Enlargement of the openings
  • Requiring more detailed analysis of the lighting of the main spaces

 Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Seventh Group:

  • Shortcoming in the presentation of functions of spaces, and the drawing regarding the whereabouts of the site
  • Positive attentiveness of the visual proportions
  • Consideration of the structure
  • Improper access to horizontal spaces
  • Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the First Group:
  • Shortcoming in the presentation of functions of spaces, and the drawing regarding the whereabouts of the site
  • Positive attentiveness of the visual proportions
  • Consideration of the structure
  • Improper access to horizontal spaces

Eighth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi, Farnoush Mohajerani, Misagh Madani

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Eighth Group:

  • Suitable organization and development of the project
  • Excessive introversion
  • Poor lighting of some spaces
  • Inadequate pause space in courtyard
  • Availability of key spaces in the project

Shahin Heydari’s comments on Eighth Group:

  • Powerful intellectual line in the project
  • Homogeneity
  • Developed interior spaces

 Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the Eighth Group:

  • Soft and integrated spaces in overall volume
  • Proper and daring design of the courtyard
  • Probability of future spatial development
  • Necessity of accurate analysis of the interior lighting

 Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Eighth Group:

  • Application of a unique concept throughout the interior spaces
  • Poor attention to executive and structural caveats
  • Incapacitated natural ventilation
  • Positive consideration of spatial relations

Ninth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi, Babak Behnood, Ali Zekavat khoy

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Ninth Group:

  • Ambiguity in the descriptive words of the project (node, unique, quality, sense of space)
  • Small-scale defining the zoning and the major spaces of the project and courtyards
  • Suitable composition of water and sitting areas
  • Appropriate half-open spaces

 Shahin Heydari’s comments on Ninth Group:

  • Multiplicity of stairs and deprivation of relaxation space
  • Relationship between exterior and interior spaces
  • Relationship between material and spatial experience

 Rana Saghazade’s Comments on the Ninth Group:

  • The complexity of the layout of volumes
  • The backyard as an effective cure for the layout axis
  • Effective light exposure
  • Possibility to expand the interior space

 Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Ninth Group:

  • Considering the application of water and light
  • Implausible in application of stairs and function of spaces
  • Compatibility with native culture

Tenth Group:

Author Architects: Amirabbas Aboutalebi, Vahid Joudi, Farideh Jafarzadeh

Houman Balazadeh’s Comments on the Tenth Group:

  • Agreeable concept and scenario

Rana Saghazadeh’s Comments on the Tenth Group:

  • Appropriate development of spaces and production of agreeable interiors
  • The small scale of the central courtyard prevents natural lighting of the interior spaces
  • Deficiency of the direct lightning surfaces in the elevations and ambiguities regarding correct lighting during the summer and winter seasons

Ali Akbar Nasrabadi’s Comments on the Tenth Group:

  • Weak utilization of light
  • Mindful attention to indoor spaces
  • Suitable concept development


On December 4th of 2017, the ceremony of announcement of winners was held in the conference hall of national museum of communication. The session proceeded with the lectures of Engineer Mohammad reza Haeri as the consultant and strategic and social designer of the project and Engineer Ali akbar Nasr Abadi as the representative of evaluation and critique’s panel. During this session in addition to reporting the general energy consumption analysis of the winning project, all the parties involved in “Designing a House for an Architect” workshop were appreciated. Each participating group received a testimonial designed by the Kalk Studio leaded by Engineer Mohammad Ghafari.