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Saffar Studio Seeks to Redefine the Iranian Mosque Typology

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Niall Patrick Walsh


Name: Golshahr Mosque and Plaza
Location: Golshahr, Alborz, Iran
Architect in chargeAhmad Saffar
Design Team: Marzieh Estedadi, Navid Shokravi, Bahar Mesbah,Niloofar Oji, Ghazaleh Eydi, Niloofar Zaker Vafaei, Elaheh Azarakhsh , Nasim Sadeghpour
Date: 2018
Site area: 22,160 sqm
Building Type: Public, cultural
Awards: 3rd place in Golshahr Mosque & plaza competition
Client: Hajitarkhani Foundation

Saffar Studio has released details of their proposed Golshahr Mosque and Plaza in Alborz, Iran. Inspired by a dialogue between context and function, the scheme is driven by a desire to increase sociability and the interactions between people in a sustainable platform.

The Golshahr Plaza is a religious building with a public space that aims to unite traditional and contemporary Iranian architecture. The simple, though challenging question posed by the design team was “Can we ignore the history or the culture of that area to meet the modernity in the new world?” The team therefore developed a scheme that contains unique spaces designed to absorb people’s needs in an ever-changing environment.

The scheme focuses on increasing public space in a dense environment, creating a special pedestrian pathway to reduce traffic and improve accessibility and interaction with nature. The materiality is dominated by brick: chosen for ecological and economic reasons. The scheme seeks to be introverted and extroverted at the same time, with calm tranquility inside contrasted by the use of the roof as public space, interacting with the surrounding environment.