Located in the famous Chāhār Bāgh district of Isfahan, Iran, the Bāgh-Negār residential complex was designed and built on a 340 m2 plot. The purpose was to provide housing units for four families, including the parents and their three married sons. Totaling 1345 m2 in gross floor area in five floors, the project required four independent apartment units, parking space for six cars, and a swimming pool.
According to the Iranian Building Codes, the footprint of residential buildings should not exceed 65% of the plot, and the remaining 35% should be left in front of the building (on the Southern side) as courtyard. Although the code was meant to provide the dwellers with open- and possibly green- space, what usually results from this code is merely a soulless leftover of the lot that nobody can truly relate to or enjoy from. Add to this, the fact that such courtyards can be overlooked from the neighbors’ top floors, which would make it uncomfortable and jeopardizes the privacy desired in Iranian culture. Furthermore, the units can benefit from the courtyard and open space lesser and lesser as the floors go up.
The challenge, therefore, was to maximize the benefits of each unit from open and green spaces. Since the client demanded a common (gathering) open space, the design redefined the role of stairway as the extension to the courtyard. This way, the stairs could integrate the open space on the third floor with the front- and back yards. The open space on the third floor was devised to serve as the common open space at the heart of the building. Similar to the traditional neighborhood spaces and networks of alleys, this network of connected open spaces on different levels makes it possible for greenery and light to penetrate even into the deepest corners of the building.
The Bāgh-Negār residence houses four families: The first floor belongs to the parents, the second floor to the elder son, and two duplexes on top for the younger brothers. The two duplexes are laid out on the sides of the open space on the third floor. Introvertly, openings mostly face the inside of common open space. Responding to the sunlight direction as well as view to the splendid, historical Chāhār Bāgh Avenue and to the private courtyard, the façade enjoys a dynamic form that fits well into the street view.