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A Tehran residence with modular wooden boxes that open and close

Probably one of the coolest projects that we’ve seen in awhile, the Sharifi-ha House by Nextoffice – Alireza Taghaboni opens or closes in accordance with the weather. Let us explain.

The residence is located in Tehran, Iran, where the summers are quite warm and the winters quite cold -a common climate for which the architects found an uncommon solution. Three exterior terraces with turning wooden boxes that become open cantilevers in the summer and retract into the terrace during the snowy winter months.

The architects took their inspiration from traditional Iranian houses that would have a summer living room (Taabestan-Neshin) and winter living room (Zemestan-Neshin). When the wooden boxes are open, extra terrace space is liberated, but internal living space is not lost when the boxes are closed. The house is also designed so as not to lose natural light when the boxes are closed. To do so, a central void was built into the structure to allow light to filter through the seven floors. Suspended bridges connect the two fixes volumes on either side of the void.

To create the turning boxes, the architects used the same technology as is found on the floor of automobile trade shows or theatrical scenes. Controlling unwanted air flow and designing handrails that fold as well as optimizing the shape of the box were bigger issues. Other issues confronted by the architects were correctly estimating the structural load values and controlling vibration that could cause structural deformities.

Distributed over seven floors, the two lowest floors are dedicated to family life, fitness and wellness, including an inside swimming pool. The ground floor serves for parking and housekeeping, public activities take place on the first and second floors, and private areas are relegated to the third and fourth floors.


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