Kharposhteh Apartment / SE-BÆR Studio
KHARPOSHTE (ROOF LIFE). The wind was alive in the highs and lows of the roof. There was air to breathe. One could forget that the roof was for “those frightened by rain and the sun.” I always walked barefoot on the roof. What a blessing we lost. Shoes are humanity’s last stand in denying the fall of man, an allegory of the sorrow being away from heaven has left us. There is evil in shoes. They create chaos in the healthy conversation between the earth and our feet. I used to be barefoot most of the time; on the roof, nothing was worth more than the rough layer of thatch under my feet.
Base Plane. The project is related to renovating the loft and the rooftop of a two-story lodge situated in the historic district of Isfahan, south of the Abbasi Jame Mosque and Naqsh Jahan Square. It is an area where parts of its urban fabric have become gradually more and more surrounded by new constructions- with a height limitation of 6 to 9 meters.
Subject. Not so far ago, roofs used to be considered crucial sectors of houses and cities. Thereupon, Citizens of Isfahan utilized roofs for multitudes of functions, including summertime sleeping accommodations, social areas to converse with neighbors, fields for keeping pigeons, etc. Such nostalgic scenes eternized through the movie “Majid’s Tales”. Status quo, however, roofs have turned into deserted spaces for placing air conditioners, satellite dishes, water tanks, and storing undesirable objects. Taking the remarkable location of such domiciles into account, how could we benefit from the potential of abandoned spaces in the modern era? Considering the circumstances, is the expansion of this historic fabric feasible?
Main idea. Even though many of those small-scaled yet spirited, spacious houses have been replaced by two or three-unit apartments, from no aspect affinized with or affected by their surrounding context and landmarks, the prospect of this addition could be a prototype for reuse of such forgotten spaces. It is an appeal for a comprehensive plan for a city placed on top of another, called the Roof City.
Design details. Initially, in order to turn the loft into a convenient room for the guests’ residence, the ducts, the air conditioners, the pipes, the facilities, and unnecessary walls were removed and reorganized as much as possible. Then after, the ceiling was cantilevered about a meter through reinforcement of the construction, besides installing an openable window across the entire eastern front, which unifies the internal and external spaces upon opening. These adjustments give the loft maximum field of view and connection with the surrounding context. Meanwhile, by putting the entrance on the downstairs landing, removing the unnecessary walls in the staircase, widening the landing, and installing a skylight on the ceiling, a space for random experiences is created. Giving thoughts to the prevailing texture and base plane and creating a novel yet familiar atmosphere, all walls and the internal and external floors were paved.