Adobe Farm Skyscraper

By:  | May - 2 - 2022

Honorable Mention
2022 Skyscraper Competition

Hamidreza Esmailnazari, Hosein Mosavi, Amir Hossein Saeedi Majd, Hossein Amery, Hossein Arshadi Soufiani, Ali Jamali, Maryam Baharvandi

Isfahan is a city in the middle of the desert in Iran and it is situated on the north side of the Zayandeh River. The city retains much of its history, which has developed between the 9th and 18th centuries. It is famous for its Persian architecture and its history.

For centuries Isfahan city had been an oasis settlement, by dint of its surrounding fertile lands and prosperity. After the 1980s, the demand for water for industrial usage has raised gradually. The creation of large steelworks and other new industries along with the growing population, disable the scarce water resources to be utilized primarily for agriculture and now, the Zayandeh River cannot supply all the agriculture’s land anymore. The farmers in Isfahan have protested against the diversion of water from the Zayandeh River to supply other areas, leaving their farms dry and threatening their livelihoods. The violent crackdown on protests was answered to them by the government in 2021. From another point of view in this historical region, which has extreme weather, architecture ways widely used for finding passive ways to solve relation between humans and nature. These architectural ways are bound with the culture and identity of the local people. Their lifestyle has formed inside different types of shelters to protect them in extreme weather situations.

By focusing on Isfahan’s farmer’s lifestyle and their special culture as a subculture, two criteria point comes into the picture. First their dependence on the Zayandeh River and then their unique process of producing high-quality organic fertilizer that comes from Dovecote’s house. Traditional Dovecotes in Isfahan were designed to produce large quantities of organic fertilizer for helping to farm in the middle of the desert and it was part of the traditional way of farming in Isfahan.

In the central void of Dovecotes, thousands of holes were placed into the walls continuously for pigeons. The architecture method used in Dovecotes provides a suitable environment situation for pigeons in the middle of the desert in a passive way. The used material was unbaked mud brick plastered with mud. Timber was also rarely used. Zayandeh River as the most important criterion is not able to supply all agricultural lands, which are placed along the river anymore, due to its low water flow. On the other hand, new technology in agriculture such as hydroponic provides cultivation with less usage of water. This project is a combination of a traditional architecture way, which provides a suitable environment in a passive way, and a layer of technology for solving the scarcity of water.

Agriculture’s landscapes transformed into a skyscraper for answering the desire of local farmers in Isfahan who are forced to leave their farms. Dozens of agricultural lands combine together in one closer location to the Zayandeh River for having access to the water. The skyscraper is formed by the combination of a traditional architectural passive way, which facilitates living in the middle of the desert, and a layer of technology that provides agriculture with the minimum usage of water. Horizontal surfaces transformed into vertical surfaces. For solving light issues in a closed vertical environment, the transformation occurred by optimizing geometry according to the result of calculating the incident radiations and the amount of renewable energy that can be collected from photovoltaic or solar thermals.

The skyscraper retains the identity of its context; it is sustainable and tries to protect farmers in Isfahan. It is open to the wind for providing a suitable environment situation inside. It creates enough shadows to protect agricultural products and farmers from the sun. To sum up, it will provide more suitable hours during the year for farming and it will help farmers of Isfahan to survive in this era.

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