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Architecture of Shade

Happy Nowruz!

Nearing the end of the Persian year, we are already getting excited for next year’s projects, including a museum, school, and ranger station project!
Persian New Year is called Nowruz and is celebrated in March.
Now/no meaning “new” from the old Persian “nava” and
Ruz meaning “day” in modern Persian, and originating from the word for “light” (roj).


Norouz is celebrated on the Spring Equinox, and welcomes the new year as the sun sits over the equator and spreads evenly across the Earth.
We are welcoming the new day, and the new light of Spring this year, with a mind for the environment and evolving toward more sustainable and ecological architecture.


We wish you all the best in beginning a new chapter!


Two Eco-dome homes found near Bam

While researching for our upcoming project located near Jiroft, we discovered two works by Nader Khalili constructed just after the devastating Bam earthquake.

Eco - Dome design by Nader Khalili - near Bam, Iran.

Eco – Dome design by Nader Khalili – near Bam, Iran.

These two homes are built in his Eco-dome design. A method of construction called “earth-bag” construction and a form of Superadobe. Requiring no energy for compaction, such as in rammed-earth methods, this technique makes use of bags of adobe material stacked to create domes and vaults.


New Project – Golestan Museum

South of the Caspian Sea, the mountains are covered with a blanket of jungle, a natural reserve protected by UNESCO . This is the land of the wolves and leopards, once called Hyrcania by the Greeks (taken from the Darius’ Behistun inscription Verkana).   

We are honored to be a taking on a new museum project in the beautiful northwestern province of Golestan! In this way, we can help contribute to the preservation of history and culture from this special region of Iran. More updates soon!


Persian Leopard in Golestan Natural Reserve - photo captured with sensor camera by the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation

Persian Leopard in Golestan Natural Reserve – photo captured with sensor camera by the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation


Kashikari – new book on Persian Tilework

We are excited to announce that a new side-project is underway!


Eagle tile – Hasht Behesht Pavilion in Isfahan, Iran c. 1669

Due to our strong interest in the Iranian art of Kashikari (tilework) and its close relationship to traditional architecture, we are researching to produce a book on the subject.

This project will be a compilation of large scale, high resolution photos documenting the history of Iranian kashikari techniques and motifs specific to figurative and non-religious subjects used in architecture, such as nature and mythological subjects, as well as displaying the evolution of its usage over time through the descriptions and presentation of the book as a whole.



Jiroft School Project

We are excited to be participating in a new competition to build a primary school in a rural village near Jiroft, Kerman, Iran
We see it as an important opportunity to explore the deeper reaches of the local mud-brick and cob architecture. We strongly believe in indigenous architectural methods and hope to innovate on the most efficient designs to create a locally-sensitive school for a village in need.


More updates coming soon!


Ancient mud-brick technique (Adobe – ajore khashti) demonstrated in the Arg-e-Rayen, a 1000 year old citadel near the site of our project.


Adobe citadel Arg-e-Rayen and the Hezaran Mountains, Kerman

Adobe citadel Arg-e-Rayen and the Hezaran Mountains, Kerman

The Light in the Shadows

Courtyard shadows over the enclosed Iwan

Courtyard shadows over the enclosed Iwan

Architecture is an integral part of everyday life and an active agent in shaping culture. My architecture is about shade rather than light.
In Iran, we learn from childhood to stand in the shade due to the overwhelming heat of the sun during summers.

Iran’s sun is strong, creating too much light. As a result, our architecture evolved to help us hide from the sun. READ MORE

iwan : liminal shade

I was always fascinated by architecture as space to live, meaning; a work space, a living space and a leisure space. Having spent much of my childhood in gardens, I enjoyed the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. My life would shift from the inside to the outside of the house from summer to winter. The transitional space in between is called the Iwan (covered terrace); an Iranian architectural element characterized by a 5-sided cube opening to the garden on its one open side.READ MORE

Towards the Ineffable: Farideh Lashai

FARIDEH LASHAI-POSTERFarideh Lashaei | Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA), Nov. 21 – Feb 26 2016 |

Towards the Ineffable: This is a well-curated, must-see event! This retrospective of the late modernist painter (and writer) displays a collection of her abstract works throughout her life as an artist.


Ghazal Radpay: Intersections, Road Movie 7&8, Still Life

New show opening last weekend!

Ghazal Radpay | Azad Art Gallery, Nov. 20 – 25 / 29 Aban – 4 Azar |

Ghazal explores roots and rootlessness through her raw approach to art as she returns from Paris to her native Tehran. As part of this show, she provides a social commentary on Iran today by filming herself while writing her experiences and every-day perspectives on a board for all to see. As quickly as it is read it is erased, and the content was anything from major problems facing the poor or the youth of Iran to a solicitation for the adoption of her new batch of kittens.

We highly recommend this show!