Old Tehran, my Tehran ​​​By Nima Dabirian & Amirreza Paknejad

Old Tehran, My Tehran

​​​​​By Nima Dabirian & Amirreza Paknejad

The city of Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 10 million in the city and 16 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is the largest city and urban area of Iran, the 2nd-largest city in Western Asia, and the 3rd-largest in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. Therefore, the central parts of the city are extremely in need of proper housing due to the increasing population density.

The main concept for this design was to create a modular wooden structure that could be built on top of buildings of various types. We designed the technical details needed to place the new wooden structure onto the old steel or concrete structures, and the details of the wooden parts and their joints.

Since we chose our home city, Tehran, for this project, we decided to design a post-modern addition to our city's disharmonious skyline. Our inspiration was the iconic Qajar architecture in the older parts of the city. We designed a wooden module with a modernized Qajar theme that could be built with different compositions and sizes. As an embodiment of this idea, and to be more specific, we designed four additional floors on top of the Golestan tower (located in Amir-Abad St. – one of the most populated areas in Tehran), using this modules.

Apart from the iconic post-modern visual, the Qajar balconies offer a great solution for sustainable use of natural daylight. The balcony ceiling works as a shade that blocks direct sunlight in summer and receives the most light during winter.

With these modules, we can conceive additional floors for many buildings in our city, providing green, cost-effective housing for the increasing population. In the long term, we can imagine a new skyline for our overpopulated city – a skyline with wooden architecture that reminds us of 18th-century Tehran.​

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs