Remodeling a house for: Kaarmaan, house of work and network

Studio Davazdah as Architects

We recently finished project commissioned by Kaarmaan House involved renovating and remodeling an old private residence into Kaarmaan Business Club House, a meeting and work space that seeks to redefine the dynamics of business activities in Iran.  

Each design and building project offers an architectural firm both opportunities and challenges. As for this project, Studio Davazdah faced three major challenges in renovating the 1000-meter old residence: meeting a 3-month deadline to finish the construction, limited budget, and most importantly, designing in accordance with a function that had no precedence in Iran.

we believe that the most important step in the process of renovation is to achieve a fuller understanding of the context of the site; the art of architecture, accordingly, is the art of forming a dialogue with this context. And what is meant by ‘context’ transcends the geographical and geometric features of the project site, and goes on to include the social framework and the function intended by the client. We considered to this old house morphology where using elements of traditional Iranian and thus possesses a unique identity.

Although the architectural plan of the house and the function of its spaces follow the prevalent typology of the time, its figurative form offers an alternative portrait of such functions, addressing us in its own particular language. Focusing on this language in terms of form and content, Studio Davazdah tried to construct an architectural narrative. This approach not only guided our architectural ideas on the right track towards the demands of the project, but also helped us to do sustainable architecture with decreasing waste of construction, recycle and renew most of elements. Since the house has been half-deserted during the past two decades, its mechanical and electrical facilities have undergone serious damages, which required the execution team to make extensive renovations to these infrastructures. In addition, minor structural repairs were also needed including the poor and disjointed condition of the eaves as the most significant case.

 Eventually, as the house was converted from a private space to a public one, all its spaces changed in definition and function: the caretaker’s room turned into a café, the terrace into a library, and the boiler room into a common room for the staff. Studying the emotional import of the spaces revealed that parts of the house had great kinetic capacity while others call for silence and repose; there were also axes in the house that helped shape the spatial definition of the project from a semiotic and conceptual perspective. Still, the final outcome included the creation of a completely new space whose new form sometimes went in parallel with and sometimes diverged from the previous state of things. Yet, as a result of an experimental attitude towards space, a completely new set of conceptual implications emerged.

The house used to include several spaces with diverse characteristics, which had to be examined to determine their new function and role within the future context as well as the amount of modifications required to realize those changes.

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