With the intention of expressing the meaning of the Stock Exchange for the city of Tehran, EBA + VMX Architects aims to combine contemporary with traditional culture to generate a place where all the necessary activities are facilitated, but next to this physical presence there is also a symbolic representation of a distinction from its surroundings. Their project brings balance between the private and public functions and symbolizes the stable future position of the Tehran Stock Exchange. More images and architects’ description after the break.
All developments worldwide are dominated by an increasing urbanization process. As a result, cities have become much more dense and at the same time more powerful. Both governmental bodies and private developers feel a need for city branding. As an answer to the new demands, building projects have become more hybrid and far more complex. The rapidly growing exposure of architecture in magazines and on websites during the last decade went hand in hand with the ongoing digitalizing techniques that have created many tools for Architects to generate spectacular 3D renderings and skills for builders to realize them. These global developments have actually resulted in so many iconic buildings that paradoxically there is now a lack of distinction between them.
Nevertheless, there is a need for distinctive buildings. Important functions will always have to be expressed in their urban context. The Tehran Stock Exchange is one of these symbolic functions that contribute to the attraction of living in the city. Because of its trading function it can be seen as the contemporary version of the traditional souks. Trading in shares, the core business of the Stock Exchange, is an almost invisible activity but doesn’t work without talking, gathering, meeting, discussing and telephoning.
Having studied the development of stock exchanges all around the world, one can see a clear tendency towards more iconic buildings. To stand out, new stock exchanges have become more hybrid. Their traditional trading functions are inadequate and various programs have had to be added. Ironically these buildings are not outstanding for a long time: the city will grow around them with even more remarkable landmarks. The well-known stock exchanges in London and New York are not so outspoken. They can be considered small, solid jewelry boxes and don’t compete at all with the buildings around them. Even more introvert is the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, which is known as the world’s origin of these trading places. This building is positioned in the old city and has a very strong architectonical image. It represents the public function of the stock exchange, allowing the public to enter and provides space for public events. Also, its forecourt with the traditional gathering area, contributes to the city life around it.
The iconic value of the Tehran Stock Exchange can be generated while looking at the history of Iran. The contemporary DNA of Iran could be described as being built up from the pre-Islamic, the Islamic and the Modern period. Characteristic for the pre-Islamic era are the large-scale buildings in the landscape. Geometrical abstract forms and patterns dominating Islamic times and modernity have brought Iran the global international influence. This project expresses these traces of contemporary DNA in the new Tehran Stock Exchange.
The building site for this new Stock Exchange is situated on the slope between the old center, the business district and the impressive mountains. The regulations allow a project of ten floors above and six floors under ground level. Although the project will be significantly higher than its surroundings, it will still be low in the city context. The building will have little impact on the skyline of Tehran. The required program fits in a box-like shape but by rotating the volume a bigger part of the site can be made free for outdoor plazas. In a natural way, shelter from the summer heat and from poor weather in the winter, will be created. To fit the volume in its context some of the sides have been reshaped. This total process results in a jewel-like, representative volume. The building intends to express a heroic belief in the future.
The entrances to the building are accessible from the covered outdoor space on the ground floor. Surrounded by water, the café is positioned on the square like a traditional kiosk in an historic garden. The main trading room is positioned on the first floor, as public as possible. Using the existing slope in the site, the tribune on the second floor can also be directly accessed from the covered plaza. To make the building into a real public building, there are several entrances possible, each of which can be clustered in compartments.
All the offices fit quite easily into the shape of the building. The project now shows just a suggestion of it – the real layout can only be defined in close collaboration with the users. The building will have many different floor types, but all the offices will, as in the traditional souks, have a brilliant view on the trading floor through the huge atrium. In an efficient way the elevators, stairs and escalators will lift the people up through this generous open space in the middle of the building. The apex of the building on top of the congress floor seems an ideal place for a public function. A completely independent functioning restaurant, possibly in combination with a viewing platform, will be an appropriate addition to the Stock Exchange program.
The design team has chosen for very experienced local engineers. The structural expert has designed a cage-like structure that, through its symmetry, works very well with the strong form of this project. It emphasizes the image of the building, while at the same time it embraces the (Pre-) Islamic motifs. To make the building light and transparent, in keeping with its modern international meaning, the building will be clad with glass on the steel structure.
Architects: EBA and VMX Architects Location: Tehran, Iran Project Team EBA: Arash Mozafari, Aqil Bahra, Atie Aghaie, Ali Nejati, Mohammad Farhadi, Pedram Dibazar, Ronak Namdari, Maryam Yeganeh, Masume Molaei, Mehrad Alimohammadi, Samaneh Rezvani, Anahita Mozafari, Babak Rashedi Project Team VMX : Don Murphy, Leon Teunissen, Shaya Falahi, Dinara Shakiba, Ines Quinterio Antolin, Zhuoer Wang, Jakub Pohunek Model: Golshid Paydarfar, Golnoosh Paydarfar, Maedeh Roshandel Client: New Tehran Stock Exchange Company; Towsee´Kalbodi Asia Consulting Engineers Project Description: Public Building, Building for office and stock exchange use Program: 30.000m² stock exchange, offices and headquarter building Status: Competition