Project Information 

Project Name: Nik Baspar Office Building
Location: Tehran, Iran
Type: Office
Architect: Amir Shahrad
Design Team: Sadaf Ghanavizbaf, Musa Azizi
Date: 2015
Built Area: 1500 sqm
Rendering: Sanaz Goodarzi, Zahra Hayati
Client: Dr. Mohammad Shahvazian
Photographer: Hossein Farahani


2nd Place of Memar Award 1394 in Public Buildings Category

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Text Description Provided By The Architects:

Nik Baspar office Building is the central office of Nik Baspar industrial group, referred to our architectural team when the steel-structure phase was nearly over.

Tehran, from a Dictate to a Text

Having studied and analyzed major semiotics theories and their equivalent in architecture, one can come to an understanding of how people induce or bring meanings to the built forms. This method of analysis in architecture is homogenous to syntax science is “linguistics”. The main idea is that the two aspects of meaning and syntax are not completely separable in language. Therefore, it is highly important to consider the “evaluation of the semi-logical aspect”. The two major figures in the field of semiotics are Ferdinand de Saussure, Swiss philosopher and Charles Sanders Pierce, American theorist. Both of the theorists had come to the conclusion that linguistic principals are applicable to the analysis of “signification” processes in other fields.

Tehran’s Language without a Grammar

Tehran as a city, is like a text which is engaged in and struggles with its own linguistic parts, because in the course of urban design the city has experienced rapid changes. The pre-revolution chair is crystalized and has turned into the modern nostalgia. However, the city never freezes and keeps developing out of order and program. In this structure, the smallest meaningful particle (house) forms the environment. We call this unit “pixel”. When these meaningful units are joined together, bigger groups – thus a bigger image – is formed and in the mega structure, the form of the city which is the order of environment is formed by these. The two aspects of the meaning of the city and the meaning of pixel are not separable.

Elevation or Resolution? That is the Question

A city image is resulted from a cluster system, key concepts of which are summarized in “scale”. Scale in minor to major features of the city is defined as a spectrum which lies between two ends: “legibility of the city” and “architectural approach”. Different scales represent resolutions (defined pixels) different, but part of a bigger image. There is not necessarily a contrast between resolution and variety. Variety can be pleasant, ideal and at the same time, well-defined.

A city image should not be simple to the extent which imposes boredom on the mind of the viewer. Complexity and variety add excitement to city image, but this needs to remain in such a controlled level which does not twist the general resolution. One must not feel as though they have lost their general image of the city and as a result of which, disoriented.

High resolution city

While designing this building, the biggest challenge was to find for it the best resolution and scale. Resolution is what defines our place in the context. We avoided Iconism and sought to stay within the city pixels. Partial and total urban image of this project in minor and major scales are compatible. De-shaping, thus, has been the main goal here, which was chosen in order for the project to correspond to the existing local context, defined formerly by projects including Vanak Park Towers and Saman Complex.