At Hadi Teherani, architecture and design have merged seamlessly and fruitfully for decades. The Tehran-born Hamburger continues to bring to life functional, futuristic and atmospheric interpretations, from door handle through to an entire airport.
TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI
MAIN PHOTO: TEHRAN AIRPORT COMPETITION ENTRY: THE MODULAR ROOF CANOPY IS DESIGNED BASED ON THE IRANIAN ARCHITECTURE HERITAGE. © HADI TEHERANI ARCHITECTS, RENDERED BY PANOPTIKON
“The design is already present – you only have to distill it from the constellation of assignment and setting,” states the architect. To him, the frame conditions are the decisive factor: “Other than in the free arts, architects need to stick to the specifications of the task. Creation can only develop from the functionality of the concept.” The architect, who has lived in Hamburg since his first school year, studied in Braunschweig and then further developed his craft at the Cologne-based Joachim Schürmann office, where he filled his creative “tool box” as he calls it – the basic equipment which he still uses today. His modernist, ‘Bauhaus’-influenced approach creates a formal language that embraces both the exterior and the interior. It is this exact formal language that his clients respond to with enthusiasm.
Today, Hadi Teherani unites architecture, interior and product design under one roof. The remedy for success behind this complex approach: each detail refers to the vision of the whole.
Hadi Teherani. Photo: © Roger Mandt, Berlin
“Everything is part of the whole, from concept to art direction and communication design through to the graphical presentation. This holistic approach concerns even my personal life.” As of a few years ago, the 65-year-old has also started to respond to requests from Iranian clients from his native city. Ever since, he has started to develop a new affinity to the Persian culture. “I have rediscovered all the beautiful elements of this wonderful and rich culture – reaching from the beautiful language (Farsi) through to the amazing architectural heritage with its formal references – a real treasure trove that I am exploring with enthusiasm.” With a branch office in Tehran, the first few projects, such as a fully equipped residential complex, have been successfully executed. Just recently, Hadi Teherani has made a bid for the new Tehran airport, an exclusive international competition in which only four offices have taken part.
On design and branding
The latest in a large range of Teherani design items are glasses, produced in cooperation with the HARBOUR brand. The applied 3D-laser print technique allows for an ultra-light, personalised frame: the ‘GRID’ frame weighs just over 20 grammes, including sun-protective glasses. The patented, high-quality design refers to natural structures, as is often the case with Teherani designs. In this case, the Fibonacci sequence, also to be found in the head of a sunflower, provided the inspiration for the unique yet recognisable creative principle. “In architecture, we create a prototype once, and in one place only. A patented design, however, bears a whole different range of opportunities when it comes to recognition.” Recognition, as well as branding, are topics that Teherani deems of high importance nowadays, in a broader sense, as well as when it comes to architecture. He sees a lot of potential in the wide recognition of landmark buildings, expressed by the public by applying names to recognisable objects such as the London ‘Gherkin’ or his own ‘crane houses’ in Cologne.
GRID – a capsule collection for HARBOUR glasses. Photo: © Martin Hass
Flare of Frankfurt
Just recently finished, the office/residential/hotel complex, situated on the Frankfurt ‘Rundschau’, site has already won the ICONIC AWARD 2019. The project stands for the holistic Teherani approach that is to incorporate the geometries and design principles found on-site: the highly recognisable, three-dimensional trademark elements visible on the street-side facade have been developed from the ground plan through to design details in a logical, consistent manner.
Flare of Frankfurt. Photos: © Neolith
Finding the grace in everyday life
Another big step towards product design was the cooperation with the HEWI brand. The ‘Range 270’ door handle, winner of the ICONIC AWARD 2019 in the ‘product’ category, is a high-quality utilitarian object, developed from function to form. The simple, stylish object will provide a noted ease with every use and, in true Bauhaus tradition, is available as a serial product.
HEWI Range 270 door handle. Architekture en minature. Photo: © HEW
To combine functionality, nature and humanity is a high priority for Hadi Teherani: “Lately, I have worked on a practical yet elegant walking aid for older residents, which is designed to provide an elegance and a joy in their everyday lives. In the past, walking aids used to be beautiful and were made of precious materials, why should that not be the case today?”
Well-designed daily culture for the elderly has, to the architect, a lot to do with dignity: “All that eventually remains to us is our grace, isn’t it?”
The new object is planned to be available by Christmas time.
Tehran Airport competition entry: The modular organisation of the building would allow for a flexible expansion strategy to be laid out. © HADI TEHERANI ARCHITECTS, rendered by Panoptikon