Benetton is an internationally well known fashion brand that is especially known because of their distinct use of colour.
The assignment was to design an office building with commercial space and apartments for Benetton Group, on the corner of Vali Asr Avenue and Salmak Street in Tehran, Iran.
The design has been approached from an integral and pragmatic stance, in which the local culture and climate, the given program and the specific location for the building have been the inspiration. The given program requires a cut back in m2 from ground to top level. This requirement has been an inspiration to utilise the total plot space, which automatically creates interconnected patio’s in the middle of the building. These patio's refer to the beautiful courtyards and gardens Tehran is famous for. All functions of the building are orientated on this inner space and can obtain the sustainable atmosphere and daylight that it brings inside. The commercial units on the ground floor are maximally orientated on Vali Asr Avenue because of their position next to each other, with their display windows looking out on the street. The office spaces are positioned as a U-shaped plan around the patio’s. The apartments are positioned on the top floor and have a wide view on the inner space and patio’s. All these spaces are embraced by an expressive facade, build up with big diamond shaped windows and openings, which refer to the characteristic diamond shaped ornaments in the local Iranian monumental architecture. Together with the typical Iranian sand coloured stucco material that contrasts with the shiny glass of the windows, the building is clearly recognisable. It has a clear sense of identity and hereby unites the classic monumental Iranian architecture and culture with contemporary architecture.
Benetton is a company with a clear identity and great cultural awareness. 8A designed a building in which Benetton can communicate and promote itself as a modern European company that is able to adapt itself to the local Arabic culture and traditions without losing its own clear identity.