Having always been a controversial issue, the generation gap has widened even further today. This gap along with other cultural and social gaps have led to the belief that life in Iran entails the coexistence of diverse or even contradictory lifestyles which create a heterogeneous society.
This diversity in lifestyles, particularly concerning private versus public, conventional versus modern, masculine versus feminine, had become quite stark, the effects of which, in approaches to architectural design throughout history, can be observed on the relation between mass and void, hierarchy, and spatial sequencing. These differences, generally springing from the variety of cultural and religious ideologies of various regions in Iran, can be viewed in the architecture of those areas. In other words, the religious viewpoints and conditions of life in various regions in that nation are expressed in local architecture that varies from one area to another.
In the northern regions where social interactions could develop more freely, public life flowed in-between communal spaces, and the semi-public spaces surrounding the rigid hearts of the houses.
In the central regions of Iran, by contrast, void spaces (i.e., central courtyards) would be situated inside the buildings and accessed by passing through convoluted spaces.
In the twofold project of Safadasht, we strove to acknowledge these lifestyle dissimilarities and to come up with ways to reconcile them in a structure. The client demanded a first-floor edifice for his religious family who practiced religious rituals in the lunar months of Moharram and Ramadan, and another one on the adjacent lot intended for late night social gatherings.
Safadasht Villa is actually two separate structures connected by a bridge. The first building, made of bricks, was designed for the parents, while the second building, intended for gatherings, is generally at the disposal of the junior member of the family, and predominantly made of glass. The diagram of the first building is based on a central yard with the construction surrounding it. To accent boundaries, brick walls and numerous windows have been employed. The diagram of the second building features a rigid core surrounded by public and semi-public spaces. Furthermore, in the social gathering building, a fluid open space is created by connecting the rigid core to a suspended ceiling so as to stress the dissimilarity of these two structures.
Displaying and reflecting the paradox prevalent in our daily life had been the principal challenge in this project, and the incongruity present in the structure of the project is perfectly in keeping with its contrasting applications in a way that each group with their conflicting characteristics is able to live on without disturbing the other, just as it runs through the everyday life of a single family.