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THE AVAN 2.0

The city of Tehran’s contemporary urban fabric is influenced by the zoning bylaw that exacts the erection of the building mass, in the northern sixty percent of the depth of the lot. This has resulted in the proliferation of in-fill typology all around the city. As a result, the performance of the architectural threshold is reduced to a two-dimensional screen and its design becomes a matter of urban graphics, quite informed by the visual culture of the general public. In contrast to this practice and in Iranian architectural traditions, we have the “Avan”; an architectural construct that reconfigures the threshold between the interior and exterior of the building into a volumetric space. In a try to re-appropriate this construct to be deployed as a contemporary spatial condition, that of the in-fill typology, this tectonic device is being considered as a solution to transform the definitive border between the inside and the outside of the in-fill type to a negotiable dynamic zone. In this process of recycling a forgone tectonic device, its form is also being re-evaluated and tweaked, to better respond to the aesthetics of a multi-level apartment building. The curvature of Avan in the section is mirrored vertically, to create a better dialogue with the stacking of the floor plans. As such, the Avan 2.0 is also responding to the ongoing tension between the private space and the public realm. Isfahan’s Grand Mosque, the 11th-century “Saljoughi” architectural heritage, is the archetypal reference for this architectural experiment.

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