TraMod TALKS with Hooman Balazadeh

Javad Eiraji Exclusive TALK with Iranian RIBA Awarded Architect


Tradition + Modernity in Architecture

Due to Javad Eiraji`s recent project “The Position of Meaning in Contemporary Architecture of Iran after Islamic Revolution” published by Pars University of Architecture and Art, the interactions between tradition and modernity in contemporary projects by Iranian architects and designers have been studied

One of these architects which has won different international awards is Hooman Balazadeh

Hooman Balazadeh is the founder and executive director of HOOBA Design Group. Gaining his Master of Architecture in 2003, Balazadeh worked at Shirdel & Partners for two years. Balazadeh established HOOBA Design in 2007 with the aim of developing projects in harmony with the cultural and geographical characteristics of the site so that each project forms a new platform for research and investigation. This office has focused on various topics such as light, color, relation between architecture and the city, building materials, development of spatial diagrams in the Persian Architecture, etc. Using the latest design methods and construction technologies, HOOBA Design tries to create projects which are sustainable and cost efficient. In HOOBA Design, one of the main design criteria is to create consistency between the whole and the pieces. Projects designed by Hooman Balazadeh have been praised and awarded by various national and international organizations. Hooman named RIBA International Emerging Architect Prize 2021

Sharif Office Building | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

Hitra Office and Commercial Building | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

Kohan Ceram Central Office | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Deed Studio

Javad Eiraji: What are the actions and reactions in your projects

Hooman Balazadeh: Paying attention to the type of the project and its needs, the main thing is context of the project. This factor has effect on the relationship between the users and the project and causes transition of the designer meanings to users. The other strategy in our projects is coming from the whole to the details

Valiahdi Project | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

Javad Eiraji: What are important factors in design process of “Shah-Karam” and “Valiahdi” project? Can we discuss on the interaction between tradition and modernity in these projects

Hooman Balazadeh: The design process of “Shah-Karam” was started with a geometrical structure and this structure was changed to a modular factor in all parts of the project. Then we used Iranian patterns both in appearance and meaning side of the project. I mean that by using a traditional of Iranian architecture called “Orosi” we tried to combine tradition and modernity. “Orosi” is a factor in traditional windows in Iranian architecture which manage and control how the light comes in. In the other hand, it has mental effects on users. So, we use this traditional factor beside modern technologies and structures

Shah-Karam Office Building | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

In “Valiahdi” project, again having dialog and connection with urban context, composition structures and the relationship between society, people and building were very essential in this project. Using Iranian traditional patterns to control the natural light was again important

Valiahdi Project | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Deed Studio

Valiahdi Project | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Babak Toosipour

Javad Eiraji: You use different types of brick in your projects. Is it related to your interest in traditional materials and architecture

Cafe Espriss | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

Hooman Balazadeh: Brick is a very important material both in traditional and contemporary architecture of these lands, but choosing the correct form of it for each project in essential. For each project we again pay attention to the context and also the scale of the project. For example in “Café Espriss” project we minimized the scale of the normal brick according to our project and needs and created a new model. Then, by up-dated way of design and technologies we combine this traditional material in a modern form

Cafe Espriss | Ⓒ Photo Credit: Parham Taghioff

Javad Eiraji: How does architecture can transfer the meaning of the designer to the user

Hooman Balazadeh: We live in contemporary period and we should think and design for the time and the user of today. It does not mean that we should have distance from our past and traditions. We should know our past, our culture and our traditions and try to use them in format of contemporary time that we living in and this is what we have tried to do in our projects