Villa For a friend / Razan text&context Architects

Architects: Text & Context
Location: Tehran, Iran
Principals: Alireza Taghaboni & Parisa Alimohamadi
Constructed Area: 300 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Razan Text & Context

We had suggested a house to a friend: “we will make you a home; fitting the best friend”. He didn’t wait for something special; a normal villa, just safe and out of harm’s way, as possible as it could. Municipality laws and the high slope of the site (as the first design’s guidelines) lead us to a terraced sketch.

The site was extended to the south-east. A pure, unbelievable, sunlit view in front of us. There for we made it like two boxes; a box on the other one, Like two frames: to record different views of the same location and beyond all for catching pleasure sunlight the most.

They wanted to specialize the uncovered space on the first box to their celebrations and ceremonies, so we moved bed rooms to the downer box and put the kitchen and living room in the upper one; an answer to their request: relating the court yard with the public rooms.

The sloped covering on the final roof is also a technical solution for hard winters and the snow load.

And in relation to those scratched wooden covers that attached to the balconies edges: they have made for protecting house from wind, snow, and all who wants breaks into a house, for the security that friend mentioned, for L.Fontana, the painter we like, and to present an artificial view to the nature.

Main access is the stairway from the main entrance (in the lower level/the border between out and in) to the main entrance of the building (upper box / public room), and in the middle of its way there’s a way to the personal area (upper box).

Kitchen is a suspending cube.

Cite: "Villa For a friend / Razan text&context Architects" 23 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • freddy wulf

    an awfull handrail along the stairs!

  • Mark

    potentially great house spoiled by bad details. i agree with freddy.

  • MZ

    It is true. It sounds to me as if someone would like to speak a foreign language (in this case probably swiss German…), but has a terrible accent, which gives him away. It would have been better to try to speak the own native language or learn the foreign one perfect. But that would still be a copy. So why not develope something unique and regional? That would mean that someone have understood the core, the real thought behind what they admire, not only copied the technikal details and form language.
    Said all that, I think on the other hand, that this building is still far the most original one on the whole hillside, if you look at the landscape photo.

  • dariusz

    Unfortunate detail and materials. very strange fireplace. I can see 8 materials in that photograph if not more. Why the mess? Of course the handrail – looks very industrial rather. The Wood of the floor doesn’t match the wall, and why the holey wood?

  • guy

    The services above the fire and the details generally are piss more.
    Had so much promise, shame!

  • guy

    (edit)piss poor

  • JH

    I like it, interesting to see something in Iran.

  • David Basulto [tricky]


    I completely agree. Ww are doing a big effort to bring you guys architecture from countries with very different cultural and economical backgrounds.

    I´d like to ask our readers to keep that in mind before commenting.

  • mohesn

    Please don’t exaggerate bad detailing ,this building has been constructed in a country with limited technology so we should congratulate the architects of the building instead of ruining them.

  • milad

    this house is sooooo good in my country.
    it won first prize in Memar ompetition

  • maryamnademi

    Congrats to the architects! Very impressive work.excellent concept.
    detailing definitely could have been better.but never the less excellent concept.
    I am not crazy about fireplace though.

  • MZ

    You all have right. This house is the first contemporary building from Iran that I have ever seen. I think it is a great achievement. It can be measured with international standards. So we did. And I ranked it high.
    Still, like I wrote in my previous comment, I think this house is too international, or if you like, “western”. Plans, organisation, forms, etc. I just miss the regional specials. Is this plan (open kitchen, maximal transparency,terrasses, etc.) how a family in Iran lives today…? Is this the iranian building industries strong side (concrete/wood/glass)…? I know so little about this country, that I am greatful for every bit. Maybe I have a completely distorted picture in my mind and this house just sets things straight. I am curious for more.

  • HM

    I think MZ and prince charles could be good friends and it is modern style not western!

  • A.T


    “Parallel life styles” and similar terms are usually used by cultural and social analysts who are involved and interested in Iranian and it’s about the situation in Iran; vast varieties of people and lifestyles in the country, including “the most traditional” in the villages and small towns, up to the most modern ones in metropolitans (and of course it’s not one and the same with the official administration image of Iran, nor the western propagandas).

    Big cities in Iran, like the others in all over the world, are almost constructed and developed with an “International Style” approach , and we, as the young generation of middle class, were born and grown up in “International Style” apartments with open kitchen and rationalistic windows but unqualified in construction and spatial classes.
    So such these spaces are not unfamiliar to the middle class Iranian.

    There is a great and impressive contradiction and paradox implying here: in countries like Iran (traditional, old, and if you like “third world”) there’s always a strong desire to be or becoming modern. In such countries, people have the modern -images of their future. On the other hand “western eye” generally expect and prefer the “traditional” and “regional” images of these countries: kind of romantic look. You can see this kind of approach in the architecture, cinema an paintings which were honored by westerns. In fact, most of the times you choose those works of us which is obviously “exotic”, “exaggerated” and “artificial” for us.
    If you want we can talk more about it

    And especially about this project:
    I don’t wanna speak about our problems or different tastes in Iran or anywhere else, but I think it’s important to know: the site of this villa is located near Tehran and it’s a country part which is very expensive and just the elites can afford to habitat in there. The only characteristic point of the site is its good weather and view and nothing more, there’s no historic or cultural attributes. The owners of the villa are young family who lives in London (for their post graduate education) and they come to Iran once or twice a year for vacation.

    tnx for your attention.

  • amin

    akhe sherkati ke navid emami toosh kar kone behtar az in khozavalat ke tahvil nemidan . takhte konid dare sherkato

    • NA

      It is so unfortunate to see such a comment on a professional website. Please keep your personal stigmas out of a mature discussion.

  • ALI


  • sana

    i think the view outside the window is amazing but the focus through the frame gets disturbed due to the excessive use of varied materials. and the eye keeps wandering side the frames when the focus should have been on the outside. and the argument is not not about a design being in iran or out side it. its a mater of basic design principles and elements.

  • Mahdi

    I think those scratched wooden covers that attached to the balconies edges are doing a good job in this villa .in the night they make the villa an isolated place that nobody could see the people who live there an this is a part of our tradition.

  • tina

    wow! dramatic comments!!!!
    anyway ,villa looks fine,i think it would work there!

  • lemon

    참고자료로 쓰겠습니다.
    thank you

  • zeynab

    A great design and great presentation.

  • saeid

    nice .when i see at first i didnt blieve this poroject was do in iran.

  • Samira

    what about plan 01??i mean bedrooms?that one you named plan 01 actually is plan 00 can you please send me?