Benetton Center Tehran Iran

Design team: Dr Cristian Suau & Abu Taib Mohammed Shahjahan
Client: Benetton Co.
Publication: online
Type: commercial and housing building
Year: 2009
Budget: -
Building systems: prefab concrete slab/walls, metal frame, timber decking & louvres
Landscape: green roof, stone pavement
Place: Tehran, city centre

CONCEPTS
The main ideas came by observing every-day manufacturing and/or manned process of clothing design: raw materials, textile production, clothing and packaging system. What might we obtain by integrating traditional and modern textile art? What is the spatial interlacing between a generic Benetton T-shirt and a handmade Persian carpet? What is the spatial equation between Shopping Mall and Bazaar? Therefore, three cornerstones
define the proposal of the building site B:
1. FIBRES WITHIN A BOX
Essentially the concept is to hold a dense portion of colourful fibres in a packaging box. So the main container –the box- exposes its fibrous content through different openings. Some patterns of fibres draw and mould the facades and others remain inside the box’s envelope.
2. STACKING BOXES
Each use is programmatically stacked up like a BigMac burger or a wedding cake. These layers are ‘sticked’ by two cores (vertical circulation), which connects underground with overground and elevated facilities.
3. MAGIC CARPET
By stacking and shifting boxes (cantilevered ones) the building becomes a space in motion; the contrast between the lightness of the openings at the shopping level and the heaviness of the concrete box above create the effect of an object levitating like the flying carpet.

USES
1. PARKING
This underground car park (4 floors) has the main car ramp access facing the main street. The main circulation is a car ramp that connects each parking decks.
2. BENETTON SHOP: THE GRAND BAZAAR
The main spatial strategy is twofold: A. Accommodate 3 shops in one transforming the two floors in the grand bazaar; and B. provide a main open gallery -display frontage- along the longitudinal side site. The ground floor contains the women and children collection. On top you have two shops: Benetton man and Sisley section. The spatial idea is to concentrate and distribute the main flow at the street level by allocating three distinctive and independent (non-common) entrances: Tower 1, Tower 2 and Benetton shop. Two escalators are strategically located in the centre of the shopping plan. They only communicate the street level with the first level. In addition, users can access from the car park levels from the two main vertical cores.
3. OFFICES: FLEXI-SCAPE & MEDIASPACE
Offices are organised in two towers with central core each and a central gap. So each office tower is surrounded by openings and thus wastes less energy by maximising the use of day-lighting. Bridges connect the office towers, which are a mix of open-plan and cellular, on both side of the spectacular central void: the slot. Front elevation, section B and office plans show how the two towers are linked at certain levels. The whole workspace might gather emerging design companies, new media, minor clothing companies and creative studios from Benetton as well. The variety of work settings emphasizes interactive group work and autonomy within a flexible framework.
4. HOUSING: THE PATIO HOUSE VILLAGE
Housing typology follows the principle of courtyard houses based on private terraces and common patios. The metaphor represents a Village on the top of a hill. The housing complex consists of 8 duplex units (with one or two floors each).

Download PDF Design Project

location  

townscape  

concept interweaving fabrics

mutation  

the magic carpet textile surfaces

concept fibres within a box

workspace study 1  

workspace study 2  

axo the box

preliminary options  

ground level  

first floor  

second floor  

sixth floor  

seventh floor upper level

longitudinal elevation  

aside elevation  

section AA  

section BB  

section CC  

street view 1  

street view 2  

view upwards  

aerial view forested avenues