High-performance Architecture: Search for Future Legacy in Contemporary Iranian Architecture
Architecture as a socio-cultural matter has a lot to do with past as well as future. Therefore contemporary architecture is a matter of tradition as well as modernity. It is implicit and what we know about contemporary architecture is a result of what we have learnt from traditional architecture, architectural heritage and what were written about architectural monuments; while it is a catalyst to lead to a prosperous future. It is understandable that traditional architecture of Iran is a collection of talented designers who crafted these notable monuments and valuable buildings which survived through centuries and became a part of human history, intangible traditions and tangible international heritage. ICOMOS and UNESCO do lots of researches and development plans to safeguard traditional architectural monuments or natural heritage sites which have roots in past and let us know about their values and functions. To complete this task, Docomomo International (International Working Party for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement) as an international body, is to respect contemporary architecture, sites and monuments. Moreover there are some contemporary buildings which are listed in World Heritage List because of their distinctiveness, uniqueness and singularity. Literature review of the paper shows that “future legacy” plays a significant role in describing future architecture. Theoretical Framework of the paper is based on interaction of architectural performance and architectural monumentality in search for future architecture as a mean to meet future legacy in architecture. High-performance architecture might be recognized through following framework:I- Architecture: 1- distinguished architect, 2- uniqueness in architectural design, 3- high-technology and 4- uses and activity.
II- Architectural Design Process: 1- client, 2- building codes and legislation, 3- public popularity and 4- Socio-cultural landscape.
III- Programming and Planning: 1- team work and multi-disciplinary approach, 2- participatory, 3- flexibility and 4- comprehensive character.
Based on proposed framework, a building might be recognized as a high-performance building, and then it might be seen as a candidate to become a “Legacy Architecture”. This paper aims to analyze and study contemporary Iranian architecture regarding to architectural performance in order to outdraw the silhouette of contemporary Iranian architecture and its relations to future legacy. The most important questions of the research are: 1- What is the framework of understanding performance of architectural monuments and level of their prosperity to become a legacy for future? 2- Which buildings in contemporary Iranian architecture might be seen as a future legacy in architecture? The methodology of the paper is based on quantitative as well qualitative approach. The selected methodology is to examine a theory – interaction of high-performance architecture and future legacy in architecture. The main frames of the paper are contemporary Iranian architectures from 1916 till 2016, as case studies. In order to answer the research question, two hundred of famous contemporary Iranian buildings and complexes which were built in 1916 until 2016 were selected purposely regarding to snowball sampling (chain-referral sampling). The results were strong enough to satisfy possible disadvantages such as community bias, non-random, anchoring, unknown sampling population size (while the samples were decreased from 204 to 200 in order to better categorization). The cases were examined to understand the level performance while they were known as a sample of high-performance architecture and their chance to become future legacy. The results of the paper show that some intervening issues like building owners, regularities and design guidelines, civic infrastructures and technical issues influence the level architectural performance. Quantitative analysis indicates that there are fifteen contemporary architectural monuments those who have opportunity to be called high-performance architecture and might be seen as close candidate of future legacy in architecture. It is demanded from recent generation to leave valuable legacy behind. The buildings which earn higher ranking in the examined list are those whish enjoy creative, timeless, exceptional, contextual, contemplative, mindful and meaningful design. The results confirm the desire and commitment to meet high-quality design in contemporary Iranian architecture to provide socio-culturally responsible buildings and to earn a world-wide reputation while other trends are such as temporary architecture, popular architecture, fashion design and signatory architecture do their business in recent decades as well. Success of contemporary Iranian architecture has been recognized with several regional and international awards.
Journal of Architect, Urban Design & Urban Planning, Volume:9 Issue: 17, 2017
129 - 138
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