Tehran | 2012
studioMDA’s design strategy for the Benetton Group headquarters was to manifest the current political and social environment, while setting a semi-private/public stage for future generations. The design was a platform celebrating the adjacency between commercial/cultural, residential/office, private/public, and women/man, implementing multiple layers of intimac(it)y. We have taken a classic eight-point star Islamic pattern and made it into a three-dimensional lattice. The Islamic pattern art form expresses the logic and order inherent in the vision of the universe.
Our next step merges the three-dimensional lattice with the given Benetton program, the Intruder. In this intersection, the project appears with two conditions inside the veiled prism: the solid and the void. The resulting spaces, like Mahtabis, are the junction between programs; they are the continuation of the interior to the exterior, connecting the building to the street.
The result is a compact yet exploded typology, allowing visual and physical connections through the voids between the three programs: shopping, working and living. These differing degrees of intimacy are revealed tectonically through lattice, glass, and stone.
The building will provide several “shared spaces”, both private and public, to stimulate the interaction between user and client. The inner public spaces will be able to host communal gathering activities such as exhibitions, parties, fashion shows and video screenings. They will become an active part of the cultural and public life of Tehran. The main entrance – the piazza – is the central ”orientation point”, allowing views into the heart of the building, providing glimpses of another world, filtered through opaque/semi-opaque/transparent layers… a view into another intimac(it)y.