carpets are world renowned, and bricks have a strong relationship with Iranian
historical architecture. Here they are fused into a contemporary facade that
appears as a collection of intricately interwoven modules. Creating a small and
low budget apartment building in Tehran does not leave much space for
creativity, yet an architect can try to do something with the material,
textures, outer envelope and light. In light of that, a modern interpretation
of the ancient mashrabiyya was
conceived by using the bricks available on the local market. In order to reduce
costs in the construction of this five-storey building, unskilled workers,
unable to read technical drawings, were employed instead of master craftsmen.
All the construction data was transformed into simple instructions to be
recited by the supervisor during every fixing, resulting in a protruding
irregular geometry, designed brick by brick, a system invented by watching
carpet weavers in traditional workshops. The building has been entirely covered
with a mesh of bricks impaled on rod bars as contiguous pearl necklaces. The
distances between the bricks have been adjusted to create an opaque effect,
through which light does not pass, while when there is a window behind the
mesh, it becomes a transparent grid.
40 Knots House On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2016.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.