Paakat Residence / Rooydaad Architects

Paakat Residence / Rooydaad Architects

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Text description provided by the architects. Not long ago, there were gated dead-ends (Sibe), surrounded by houses that accommodated relatives around a courtyard. This Sibe (semi-public urban space) and courtyard (semi-private space) gifted us the “sky” upon stepping outside. Today, however, all those people live in apartments with low ceilings and elevators. Upon stepping out, they see confined spaces and depressing environments.
But where is the “sky”? The mysterious blue umbrella…
In “Paakat,” we gifted the “sky” to the Akbari family.

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Paakat’s Being – “Paakat,” utilizing the central courtyard house model, is closed on the north and has a lattice wall on the south. It is nothing and everything, just like any Paakat (Farsi for Packet)! Unlike its neighbors’ facades, “Paakat” is a simple, large box that opens only at the will of its residents. It proposes a kind of introversion reminiscent of central desert architecture, which critiques the extroverted architecture of today’s city that often disregards climate and culture.

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House or Apartment? Akbari’s family wanted an apartment where they could live together independently. We envisioned a house around a courtyard despite the site’s infill nature! Wanting Accessibility, spatial diversity, and connection to diverse private courtyards on different floors, despite the constraints of infill apartments and the municipal regulations of Isfahan, illustrated in our minds a house that “Paakat” physically embodies!

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The City and the House: Connected or Detached? The physical connection of residential masses with busy streets and peace, a fundamental need of a home, presents a duality that is the main design challenge of urban residences. We chose Sibe, from central desert urbanism, as an ideal intermediary space connecting neighborhood units with each other and the city. It was previously forsaken due to ownership issues, municipal resource limitations, increased land value, and economic infeasibility. “Paakat” transforms the horizontal structure of Sibe into a vertical one. By adding the staircase to it, the economic aspect is justified, and Sibe is revived, benefiting from its functions like filtering noise, strengthening units’ connections, and providing a proper connection between public and private areas.

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Lattice Work – On its south side, “Paakat” utilizes traditional lattice art (a legacy from the Seljuk and Safavid periods rooted in the traditional architecture of Isfahan) in a new form to provide maximum openness while maintaining privacy and controlling the harsh summer sunlight.

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The Yard and The Staircase – “The elevator devalues all the architectural qualities of the stairs!” – Rem Koolhaas. The municipal standards in Isfahan have constrained buildings and their connection to the city, limiting the height of openings facing the passageway to 170 cm, significantly diminishing the quality of views and natural light. However, by defining a northern courtyard, creating terraces between the building and the street, and opening them towards each other, “Paakat” provides the quality of light and view and the scale of the openings without limitations and according to the space’s needs, benefiting from diverse open spatial packets. This vertical yard, like the Sibe, is a place for interaction and chance encounters.


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