2nd Place in Memar Awards 96
The residential ‘Apartment 111’ is a complex with 12 residential units, 2880 m2 gross floor area in three stories, built on a 1800 m2 land, and located on the first phase of the Mehrshahr district in Karaj.
Mehrshar is arguably the last remnant of the old garden-city texture of Karaj. Although during the recent years, because of the unlimited urban constructions and the growth of the population, the lifestyle in this district has changed almost to the point of destruction of its old roots and if we consider the history of the changes in this district during the recent years, it would not be hard to predict the melancholy end of this pearl of an urban design.
Therefore, the project of 111 street is an opportunity to change this course of inappropriate constructions and introduce a better pattern of population and building density in Mehrshahr with designing a companionship between the building mass and the yards and green spaces.
Thus, in the residential project of 111, the idea was formed based on the development and preservation of the green axis, and the recreation of the lifestyle of Mehrshahr which has several components.
Of the characteristics of the houses in Mehrshahr are:
- Direct connection between the house and the green and open spaces, and a special regard to the life in gardens and open spaces
- Spatial independence and the border of the adjacent residential units
- Spatial diversity in the houses
- Creation of a collective space for the social interactions between the residents and the increase of the sense of place
The green axis of the 111 street, as one of the main networks of Mehrshahr, penetrates and spreads throughout the complex. This green structure, in a way, resembles the old garden-alleys with green spots that border-lined between adjacent units and resulted in a coexistence between the green spaces and residential spaces that defiantly improved both.
Green spaces and gardens are one of the main elements of the Mehrshahr residential complex. Therefore the locating of the mass in the green yard was one of the main challenges of this project. Not only is the mass challenge solved with the consideration of old trees and valuable vegetation but also the whole project is designed in a way that causes the least harm possible to this green spaces in the yard.
In addition and for the development of the green spaces…
Another element of the project design is the importance of the view and the lighting of the apartments. Based on the studies on the view and because of the existence of negative points (a ten-story apartment mass in the south of the project) and using the existing potentials (a green mass in the southern east of the project) the southern front of the project mass, and in other words the southern apartments, with a 20 degree rotation both use the green mass and avoid the building. The rotation of the plan has resulted in rectangular balconies in the façade. Therefore the main façade of the building mixed with the rotated main mass of the building has converged in open balconies.
In addition to the view problem, the rotation of southern apartment has provided a great opportunity for supplying the light and the direct view of northern buildings.