Kohan Ceram Central Office Building Mixed-Use by Hooman Balazadeh

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Kohan Ceram Central Office Building

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Mixed-Use

INSPIRATION:
How can a single building form strategic changes to the urban scenery? Is it possible to unify the urban scenery by minimizing the formic expression of buildings as singular objects and emphasizing on the city as a whole? Unitizing different elements of the building including walls, windows, doors, etc., as well as reducing the variety of building materials could somehow address the so called issues.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Is it possible to unify the urban scenery by minimizing the formic expression of buildings as singular objects and emphasizing on the city as a whole? Unitizing different elements of the building including walls, windows, doors, etc., as well as reducing the variety of building materials could somehow address the so called issues. The project was designed as the headquarters for Kohan Ceram Brick Manufacturing Company. Preserving the existing concrete structure, it was decided to Design a special brick (by architect) to represent the factory. Now the question is, could this well-known building material move beyond its simple role and help changing the perceptions towards a complicated building and to combine different building elements to reach a new phenomenon? How could we reduce the visual disturbance in the urban scenery by introducing weak forms as building objects? The story of Kohan Ceram building was started when a new modular creature was formed called the “Spectacled Brick”. This little guy had transparency and solidity in one piece and could see the city from within. It worked as the masonry, the finishing, and the insulation at the same time but still wanted to be more than that. The Spectacled Brick not only formed the exterior façade, but also transformed from a surface into a volume which extended into the building in the form of modular greenspaces. Replacing ordinary walls and windows, these modules defined different spaces in the building. Therefore, the interior walls were formed by the extension of the exterior walls, following the main design criteria which was to merge dual qualities. Bringing the natural lighting inside spaces in a mysterious way, the Spectacled Brick delayed the perceptions towards the building. It made the building both introverted and extroverted during day and night. It strictly banned other materials to take part in the making of the building and always kept loyal to its geometry. Penetration was the favorite notion for the Spectacled Brick. Making use of its semi-transparent nature, it merged the exterior with the interior to fade the boundary between the two. The spectacled brick was aware of the ventilation and light exposure benefits caused by the penetration of exterior to interior and used this technique to organize spaces inside the building. The spectacled brick integrated building qualities such as interior and exterior, introversion and extroversion, façade and space, transparency and solidity, natural and artificial lighting, to create a new phenomenon which not only carries features form both components, but also introduces new values to the system. Therefore, design challenges were resolved by merging these dual components into unique elements. It also used this homogeneity to address the programmatic requirement of the project which included both commercial and residential spaces. It tried to expand the commercial aspect of the brick showroom to the exterior and eventually to the city. Therefore, the transitional role of the building as a complex of spaces in the building scale and a commercial object in the urban scale was formed.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The spectacled brick integrated building qualities such as interior and exterior, introversion and extroversion, façade and space, transparency and solidity, natural and artificial lighting, to create a new phenomenon which not only carries features form both components, but also introduces new values to the system. Therefore, design challenges were resolved by merging these dual components into unique elements. It also used this homogeneity to address the programmatic requirement of the project which included both commercial and residential spaces. It tried to expand the commercial aspect of the brick showroom to the exterior and eventually to the city. Therefore, the transitional role of the building as a complex of spaces in the building scale and a commercial object in the urban scale was formed.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in March 2016 in Tehran and finished in August 2019.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The story of Kohan Ceram building was started when a new modular creature was formed called the “Spectacled Brick”. This little guy had transparency and solidity in one piece and could see the city from within. It worked as the masonry, the finishing, and the insulation at the same time but still wanted to be more than that. The Spectacled Brick not only formed the exterior façade, but also transformed from a surface into a volume which extended into the building in the form of modular greenspaces. Replacing ordinary walls and windows, these modules defined different spaces in the building. Therefore, the interior walls were formed by the extension of the exterior walls, following the main design criteria which was to merge dual qualities.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The brick block used in this project is a combination of industrial brick and cast glass. The building envelope consists of two layers of brick-glass block with a thermal insulation layer in between. The overall thickness of the block is 19cm. anti-moisture silica gel balls were placed in between the two brick layers to prevent condensation on the glass.

TAGS:
Kohan Ceram Building , kohan ceram Factory , Kohan Ceram Brick Manufacturing Company , Kohan Ceram , Kohan Ceram Central Office

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
There was a glass workshop in a close distance from the Kohan Ceram factory. This was the spark of a new idea which was to explore the possibilities of solid brick to be combined with cast glass. We started the experiment with direct casting of melted glass into the fire resistant brick blocks. A number of trial and errors resulted in a failed prototype with cracks in the brick block after the glass was cooled. Therefore, we decided to cast the glass separately and stick it inside the brick wholes using a special glue. These trial and error experiments where conducted to create a new brick typology which not only forms the entirety of this project but also could be applied in many other projects. This could eventually help many glass casting workshops to boost their business and to produce valuable products instead of low quality objects. Moreover, this new building block could boost the living quality of many “infill” projects around the country, by improving the light penetration quality inside the building envelope without altering privacy and overlook requirements.

CHALLENGE:
As mentioned in the previous section, the most challenging obstacle in this project was to come up with the optimum solution in the making of the brick-glass block. Many trial and error procedures were conducted in the making of the prototypes. The success of this time consuming procedure was realized with the help of the great teams working on both the brick and the glass components of the block.

ADDED DATE:
2021-02-02 11:41:34

TEAM MEMBERS (7) :
Project Architect: Parima Jahangard, Design Team: Parima Jahangard - Mohsen Tahmasebi – Mostafa Dadashpour, Site Supervision: Mohsen Tahmasebi , Detail Design: Bahram Afsari- Mohsen Tahmasebi, Physical Modeling: Mehran Alinezhad, Presentation: Shafagh kia- Maryam Eghlimi and Mechanical Engineer: Iman Ilbeigi

IMAGE CREDITS:
Parham Taghioff
Deed Studio

CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
HOOBA Design Group

PROFILE:
Born in 1978, Hooman Balazadeh is the founder and executive director of HOOBA Design Group. Gaining his Master of Architecture in 2003, Balazadeh worked at Shirdel & Partners for two years. Balazadeh established HOOBA Design in 2007 with the aim of developing projects in harmony with the cultural and geographical characteristics of the site so that each project forms a new platform for research and investigation. This office has focused on various topics such as light, color, relation between architecture and the city, building materials, development of spatial diagrams in the Persian Architecture, etc. Using the latest design methods and construction technologies, HOOBA Design tries to create projects which are sustainable and cost efficient. In HOOBA Design, one of the main design criteria is to create consistency between the whole and the pieces. Projects designed by Hooman Balazadeh have been praised and awarded by various national and international organizations.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Kohan Ceram Central Office Building Mixed-Use by Hooman Balazadeh is a Nominee in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Kohan Ceram Central Office Building Mixed-Use by Hooman Balazadeh is Winner in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category, 2020 - 2021.



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