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Plasco Building-Niloofar Kakhi

Plasco Building

12/31/2018 by Niloofar Kakhi

Simorgh is a mythical bird, which existed in many ancient cultures beyond the domain of ancient Persian civilization, where it receives a significant character and develops in Persian literature and poetry throughout the Islamic era to its full glory. The bird in the ancient Persian culture has been a symbol of victory and promise of rain. In the early Islamic era, the character of Simorgh enters the popular myths and later the epic literature that is manifested in Shahnameh of Ferdowsi as a savior bird (angel) who protects Zāl and later his son, Rostam. Simorgh, who is generally hidden from the sight, not only saves Zal in infancy, but gives him some of his feathers when bidding farewell that were used to call simorgh’s help at the time of Rostam's birth as well as in the battle of Rustam and Esfandiar. In a sense, Simorgh is considered to be the guardian of life and religion of Zal and Rustam.

The semantic evolution of Simorgh in two forms of “Simorgh” and “Si-morgh” (indicating thirty birds) can be followed further in Farid al-Din Attar Neyshabouri’s, Mantigh al-Tayr, the narrative of which can be understood as the portrayal of martyrdom for the sake of the God. This idea represents the concept of unity in the plurality and diversity in unity. The unity that comes after the tolerance of hardship and going through the overwhelming passage of this world for “Si-Morgh” (the thirty birds) to meet Simorgh.

Therefore, Simorgh can be considered as a suitable symbol to commemorate the firefighters who bravely came to the help of those caught in the disastrous fire of 2017, devoted their lives and passed through this world. May such devotions and passions remain priceless in our society.

In this regard, the main facade of the building is inspired by the geometry of a unique image of soaring Simorgh, which has been portrayed on a magnificent tile from the Ilkhanid era. The use of this decorative tile as the starting point for this project is a way to represent unity though the diversity of parts while it is a journey throughout the history of the country's architecture, with an implicit and ingenious reference to its rich heritage. Adaptating of the geometry of this tile to the main façade, places the heart of Simorgh as a turning point on the 5th floor. This level will be used as an memorial and exhibition space to celebrate the memory of the firefighter martyrs. Additionally, considering the height of neighboring buildings, this floor has a good height for viewing Tehran, especially the Jomhouri street and surrounding historic neighborhood.

Having this space at the centre, the wings of Simorgh are spread on the façade and extended on the two sides of the buildings, creating various view points from the inside. The wings will be represented with the total of 16 lines, representing the 16 firefighters who died in this tragic event. The rest of the 5th floor is emptied out to represent the sense of loss for the five casualties as well as the firefighters. This space is seen as a communal terrace with cultural and hospitality functions. In the rear part of this floor a food court is suggested and the front part of this floor can be used both as a sitting area for the food court or a space were various public events can be held. Due to the commercial nature of this complex as well as the lack of amenities in the neighborhood, it is suggested that the rear section of the 5th floor be dedicated to a food court.