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Iran’s Apartment No. 1 Built Entirely from Recycled Stone


Apartment-No-1Iranian city Mahallat is home to a thriving stone cutting industry. Even though the industry contributes nearly half of the city’s economy, it also generates a lot of waste stone from the cutting process.

Tehran’s Architecture by Collective Terrain thus set out to put the so-called waste stone to use by constructing an apartment building from it. Apartment No. 1, a modern stone building made up of eight apartments of three bedrooms each, is the product of the idea; proving that the left-over stone was not so useless.

The cut stone tiles produced in Mahallat are produced from mining area’s rich travertine deposits. The cutting process, however, proved wasteful as the process of making a single tile wastes as much stone as is contained in the tile itself. This waste stone is then discarded.

Apartment No. 1, designed by Architecture by Collective Terrain, showed that the left-over material was still useful. The building was constructed using waste stone gathered from several mines to produce a modern, textured exterior in a colourful natural pattern.

The ground floor of the building serves as a shop while the four top floors have the eight apartments, two on each floor. The exterior’s organic design is also featured in the interior to achieve the same pleasant effect.

The use of the stone together with easy-to-operate shading devices help reduce heating up during the day while also regulating how much sunlight enters the building.

The shades are open in winter to allow ample heat and light to reach the interior and closed during the heat of summer to reduce further heating up of the interior. There are also angled facades around the windows to regulate how much light enters the apartment block.

The building, which was finished in 2010, has changed the way builders use this recycled stone in the city. Apartment No. 1 has also made it into the shortlist for this year’s Aga Khan Architecture Award.

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