Nowadays, one of the most important problems that the cities are facing, is the lack of suitable substrates for attending people in the community and improving the social interactions. Therefore, the existence of public urban spaces is an essential obligatory for urban development.

Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
Third Award | Category: Cultural (Concept)

Studio: Saffar Studio
Architect: Ahmad Saffar
Country: United Arab Emirates

Persia Cultural Plaza by Saffar Studio - Sheet1In the history of Iranian architecture and urbanization, the urban spaces such as avenue, plaza, bazaar, sectors, were the inseparable parts in citizens life which these days because of increasing the population, urban developments and overcoming technology and modernism over different life cycles, paying attention to this kind of spaces are eliminated and  one of the most important reasons for the absence of people in the communities and their addiction to the  virtual world is lack of this kind of spaces that must eliminate their requires and for this reason designing the urban spaces should be so functional and creative to encourage people to cooperate in the community despite of their daily concern about their works or the attractions of virtual world. Putting emphasizes on the key role of this kind of spaces will improve the quality of urban life in the best way.

Persia Cultural Plaza by Saffar Studio - Sheet3The urban space should be able to response the people requires with different ages, features with and the limitations in all the situations and also be able to provide sense of security and belonging for them. Since the best way to understand the urban space is looking closely to the process of urban designing through the history, the concept of designing the Persian Plaza has gotten from ancient Iranian urban spaces like narrow alleys in hot and dry climate which displayed the significant role of lights and shadows. These spaces connected the main parts of the neighborhood and plazas with each other.

Persia Cultural Plaza by Saffar Studio - Sheet4Iranian bazaars were the core of Iranian cities in Islamic era, the plazas were the main entrances of bazaars. Iranian caravanserais with their simple square or rectangle plan shape and the main courtyard (climate responsive) in the middle of the plan that had an incredible sky view point without any obstacles. Caravanserais had some rooms which were prepared for the travelers and they were located around the yard. The design’s features of these ancient spaces were matched with the people requires, situations of contemporary cities and citizens being adaptive to the concept of social sustainability.

Persia Cultural Plaza by Saffar Studio - Sheet6features of the project that came from Iranian architecture and urbanization Ideologies

1-Paying Attention to spatial enclosure that is one of the most important features of the urban space. The enclosure is created in the proportions of one to three (court yard width length to court yard length and the proportion of septum (walls)to yard width), and creating continuous septum with some openings on it with regular rhythm. (Zavareh Square, Yazd Square, Ganj Ali Khan Kerman Square,etc)

2-Considering the introversion feature in Iranian architecture by designing two permeate layers that protect the courtyard from urban hubbub. (central yards in Iranian houses).

3-Attention to spatial contrast by designing heterogeneous spaces in different scales that emphasize on sense of being in space (texture of Iranian cities such as Yazd, Esfahan, Kashan, etc.)

4-Use of vault ,arc and “sabat” that are the important elements of ancient Iranian architecture for creating  the spaces that can increase the sense of belonging and phantasm and increasing sensory richness and sense of belonging in citizens and creating human scale in septum’s of space. (alleys in hot and dry climate and hot and wet climate).

5-Designing continuous sequences that has connected different parts of project together and has created subsequence spatial and this feature in the past was created through connecting between some spaces like bazaar and center of neighborhood by narrow alleys.

6-Visual and physical permeate are other important features of urban spaces that in designing this urban plaza has tried to show inside layers of project by creating some openings in septum and inspire the curiosity of observers and invite them into the project.

7-One of the other features that is so important in urban space designing is attention to principle of variety, it means the space should be able to give different services to the audience with all the features and limitations and give them right to choose. fore there Iran plaza has designed to able accommodates various social activities like individual and group activities, art activities like performance, music, art contests, galleries and temporary exhibitions. Ritual performances and cultural and sports activities.