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Softstone mid-rise office building in Tehran designed by SETUP Architecture Studio

SETUP Architecture Studio led by Iranian architect & design researcher Sina Mostafavi has completed ''Softstone'' a mid-rise office building that located in Tehran,Iran

Architect's statement: Softstone is a mid-rise building located in the city center of a developing metropolitan area. Urban densification and land-use changes are resulting in proximities of existing low-rise residential blocks with mid to high-rise offices or commercials. Within this context, Softstone introduces an alternative architectural solution for a mid-rise office project built with local stone.

The monolithic volume is constructed of pre-crafted slabs of varying sizes that are supported with pre-fabricated folded metal plates, which then together are dry-assembled on-site. Soft transitions from small to large components create curved surfaces out of the hard stone. The focal points of these gradients define the entrances and openings, morph the building skin, adjust the skyline, and connect the backyard landscape to the staircase all the way to the rooftop.

Softstone mid-rise office building in Tehran designed by SETUP Architecture Studioimage © Parham Taghioff

Some further design strategies are:

_ Blurring the threshold of the building envelope to orient the views up toward the sky and the mountain chains of Tehran in balconies or iwans, and down toward the street behind the panoramic windows of the multi-purpose working spaces;

_ Activating the backside of the project by connecting it to the rooftop on one side, and dissolving it softly to an animated carpet-like landscape that embraces the only existing tree and it integrates new plants;

_ Designing the given building block as a volume rather than separated two-dimensional facades. This integration is done through the three-dimensional extension of the east and west surfaces to the front and back, as well as the roof as the fifth elevation and the back-yard carpet;

_ Controlling the assembly tolerances by compensating the minor deviations in the hand-cut stones with the higher accuracy in the production of the folded exposed metal plates;

_ Minimizing the material leftovers by discretizing the continuous surfaces into elements with varying sizes ranging from 60mm or extra-small to 1430mm or extra-large;

office building facade in Iranimage © Parham Taghioff

windows in the facade image © Parham Taghioff

facade design and window in the night view image © Parham Taghioff

the entrance door and marble stone wall image © Parham Taghioff

facade made with stone image © Parham Taghioff

house ring technologyimage © Bamdad Nourian

backyard garden design image © Parham Taghioff

backyard garden aerial view image © Parham Taghioff

a man standing in the balcony during night image © Parham Taghioff

the outside view from balcony in Tehran image © Parham Taghioff

a woman with hijab walking in an empty room image © Parham Taghioff

the street view from balcony image © Parham Taghioff

the windows shade let the sun light enter the room partially image © Parham Taghioff

the staircase made with marble stone image © Parham Taghioff

stone material used in the roof image © Parham Taghioff

black metal ladder to the rooftop image © Parham Taghioff

Softstone mid-rise office building in Tehran designed by SETUP Architecture Studioimage © Parham Taghioff

the facade of the building in the night image © Parham Taghioff

the windows in the facade illuminated with lightimage © Parham Taghioff

an office building facade with stone in Iran image © Parham Taghioff

Softstone mid-rise office building in Tehran designed by SETUP Architecture Studioimage © Parham Taghioff


structure detail

architectural diagram

mass volume diagram

architectural plans

drawing plans

architectural sections

architectural section

facade elevations



Project name: Softstone

Architecture firm: SETUP Architecture Studio

Architect in charge: Sina Mostafavi

Construction manager: Alireza Salami

Design team: Sina Mostafavi, Banafsheh Darvish, Ken Chen, Hamid Khaki, Mohsen Nouri, Ashkan Rezaee, Guo Xi, Niusha Zaribaf 

Architectural representation team: Adib Khaeez, Faezeh Sadeghi, Masoud Barikany 

Main contractors: Mehdi Yamininejad, Mehdi Bayat _Mokaab Group 

Construction superintendent: Amin Firouzpour 

Construction supervision: Amin Firouzpour, Nasir Damavandi Alireza Salami, Sina Mostafavi 

Client: Majid Ghavifekr

Location: Tehran,Iran

Year: 2014 - 2018 

Area: 1000 m²

Photography: Parham Taghioff, Bamdad Nourian

Stonework contractor: Borhan Nouri 

Structural design: Amin Nekooyian 

Electrical consultant: Kamran Naraghipour 

Mechanical consultant: Bahram Eksiri 

Electrical work contractor: Mehdi Janbakhshi 

Mechanical work contractor: Mojtaba Moayeri 

Woodwork contractor: Ali Ghorbani, Mohsen Soleimani 

Elevator consultant: Technoterm Co.

Doors and windows: Alumin Co.

Glass and handrails: Venus Glass Co. 

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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