Isfahan Laboratories & Workshops Complex


Design team: Arash Aliabadi- Afshin Farzin- Amin Tadj- Saman Shams- Sakhi Shirmohammadi

Location: Isfahan Science and Technology Town, Iran

Project maneger: Physical Development Research Center

Structure: Hossein Shahbarkhordar

Client: Isfahan Science and Technology Town

Year: 2005-2009

Site area: 9’000 M2

Design area: 3’000 M2

Building type: Industrial

This complex consists of 17 rental workshops or laboratories to be occupied by young companies as a test-plant for the fabrication of their products. The building is located in Isfahan Sci-tech Park an adjacent to The University of Isfahan, one of the largest universities nationwide. This project was planned to be part of a large incubating program aiming to encourage freshly graduated scholars to advance their academic studies towards manufacturing a tangible commercial product.

The wide range of potential users called for flexible spaces which could be easily rearranged based on the user’s needs. Also, as the client had required, the project had to be built quickly and cost effectively.

On the other hand, application of existing building guidelines would lead to the formation of a long and linear building, whereas the 10-meter slope of the site demanded a more adaptive strategy. In conclusion, the design challenge was to respond to issues of lower cost, faster construction, flexible spaces, building regulations and topography in one single scheme.

We proposed a cost-effective, modular, cast-in- place concrete system with the possibility of being freely interrupted with wide structural gaps in order to become aligned with the topography. The gaps between the blocks offer a respite in the system which lends visibility to the scenic mountains in the background.

Workshop units were designed in the three sizes of 100, 200 and 300 m2; the area of the basic module was 100 m² and it was possible to merge two small units into a larger one. Despite the alteration of roof shapes, the entire concrete structure was built with one formwork system. The Swapping of two top levels of northern and southern columns makes the roof geometry more complex without requiring the addition of a new structural roof element.

The lightness of the metal roof is in contrast with the solid, concrete body below. The windows beneath the roof emphasize this disjunction, whereas the analogous syntaxes of both volumes try to present a harmonic inharmony between the elements.