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Intro Baran Residential Complex is a (total residential area) square-meter residential development inside a 15000 square-meter site. It is located in the (number of phase) of the planned satellite city of Pardis, a suburb 17 km northeast of Tehran. The project is composed of (5) blocks with varying floor numbers containing a sum of (number of residential units) residential units, ranging from (area of smallest residential unit) square meters to (area of largest unit) square meters. The blocks consist (percentage of built area per total area) of the site, and are arranged inside an open area of (area of open space) square meters which makes up (percentage of open area per total area) of the site, and contains parks, pedestrian paths, open plazas and vehicle access. Context The project is located in Pardis, a satellite city that developed as Tehran’s population was overflowing. Apartment prices in Tehran made it impossible for many families to settle or remain in Tehran neighborhoods providing a good quality of living. Although this wasn't always the case, many new developments in Pardis today are affordable but neglect spatial quality for cost reduction. In their design, they use copy-and-paste mechanisms in the master-plan, shared spaces inside the buildings and apartment types, in order to make the development cost-effective both in design and in construction. The effect is that over time these developments become undesirable for living and are only a means for investment on land and real estate, and in turns urban and community life do not develop healthily in such new projects, creating a counter-productive vicious circle. There’s a paradox in the name of the planned city: “Pardis” comes from the old Persian “pairidaēza”, which is the etymological root for “paradise.” Concept This project attempts at producing an affordable residential development while creating spatial quality in the apartments as well as in the open spaces connecting the apartment blocks, to create a lively neighborhood. In designing the relation of built spaces and open shared spaces, the most pressing functions are vehicle access and pedestrian activities. To confront the often-conflicting flow of pedestrians and vehicles, negative space (open areas) is not treated as a space that remains after positive space (built areas) is designed and determined. On the contrary, they are designed in parallel and are both equally important. The advantage of living in a complex is that its residents can benefit from a large open area with shared amenities instead of small individual yards, creating a more animated community life. Therefore, the main goal was to create a continuous open space for pedestrians that connects all the blocks and is safe and away from vehicle circulation. This open space would contain a set of shared amenities such as a plaza, urban gardens and orchards and pedestrian and bike paths, which provide a platform for communal activities and social interaction. In designing the apartments, the main concern was to provide each single unit with maximum light and open views from multiple sides, especially the southern side which has the best light quality and the most favorable view. The units do not have to fit in a block, rather it is the units that shape the block, that’s why the blocks have more complicated geometric shapes in plan instead of the usual monolith of cubic towers. They negotiate with the open space and create indents and outdents in plan. The natural slope of the site added a layer of complexity in section to this negotiation but provided new possibilities for enjoying the view from different locales of the site. The blocks on the northern part are higher compared to the ones in the south to increase the number of units with a nice view. Units on the lower floors in every block do not naturally have the same advantage over the view but this is compensated with larger private yards or terraces replacing smaller balconies. During the very long design process, with all these factors in mind, different alternatives were always considered for different decisions, for instance the arrangement of blocks in the masterplan, the determination of their height or the path of vehicle circulation, and at the end the alternative that responded best to all the design factors was rated and selected as the optimum alternative. The project does not deny the cost-effectiveness of copy-and-paste mechanisms, it just does not see it as the main principle of design like in common projects, it rather a tool for cost reduction and optimization. For instance, despite the difference in the shapes of blocks, the plans of units have limited types which reduces design and construction costs. Also, the details of the facade make the use of typing possible for cost-reduction. [can anything else be added here? Conclusion Affordable housing does not mean depriving the residents from quality in the interiors and a rich social life on the exterior. On the contrary, the key is to use architectural tools to create spatial quality within the restraints of the budget. [I may need some more ideas to write this part]

Lead Architect(s)

Mohamadreza Ghodousi, Fateme Rezaei Fakhr, Golnaz Bahrami,


Maskan Pardis Investment Co,

Design Team

Sheila Ehsaei, Payman Barkhordari, Sara Jafari, Azin Ravaei, Mohsen Dehghan, Sara Azar Khish, Negar Monzavian,

Graphic & Illustration

Somayeh Saeedi, Arshia Hashemipour, Saba Soltani, Dorsa Tavakoli, Mohsen Dehghan, Sara Fallahzadeh,

Structural Consultant

MohmadAli Tajali, saeed Ferdosi,


Mohamad Mohabati Arani,

Mechanical Construction

Alireza Shadbakhsh,

Electrical Engineer

Davoud Rahmani, Soheila Boustani,