This villa is located on a steep hilly property in the affluent town of Lavasan, only 30 minutes from Central Tehran, Iran. The site offers views of Jajrood River basin, one of the main sources of water for Tehran Metropolitan region. This river is located in the southern part of the central Alborz mountain range. The view of these majestic mountains and the Jajrood River makes this place magical and memorable.
One arrives to the site at the bottom of the steep hill. A 30’ stone retaining wall of the next-door neighboring villa marks one side of the property line. On top of the Hill, above the property, are a series of postmodern and traditional McMansions lined-up shamelessly in a row next to one another competing in volume, vulgarity & visibility.
The challenge of this project was to create a simple villa embedded in the topography that met the owners desire for privacy (Islamic tradition of not being seen by public in the private quarters,) while taking advantage of the surrounding views (seeing & enjoying the distant natural elements & views.)
The program was to create a main villa including: a master bedroom suite, two children bedrooms, a family/TV hall, terraces, living, dining, kitchen, playroom, large outdoor/indoor space & a swimming pool. In addition to the main villa, an independent guesthouse was designed including: one bedroom, living/dining area, and kitchen. Also included are a caretaker’s house, garage, and additional parking spaces for 4-6 guests. The neighboring lot has a grassy field/garden and a pavilion/tea-room.
In order to engage the views of the mountains & the river the main spaces needed to be on the higher elevations of the site some 3 or 4 stories above the arrival area which required an elegant staircase & an elevator to take one to different levels.
Conceptually the main villa takes the form of a sculpture on top of the hill. The volume of the guesthouse & the caretaker’s house is broken down into different parts and carved into the hillside. A three-story structure creates a base for the main villa above continuing the next-door neighbor’s 30’ wall. This base volume includes the garage, entry veranda, exterior stair, an elevator and a duplex guesthouse. Above the guesthouse is a platform for the pool and main villa only partially visible from the street.
A long stairwell on the right of the entrance gate takes one to different parts of the house. Next to the stairwell is a garden wall with a guest parking space and the Caretakers suite on the far end.
The elevator takes one from the garage to the main villa above exiting by the poolside (conceptually this vertical element takes one thru the earth & water to get to the arrival point). The main villa is an L-shaped volume on two levels with a private indoor/outdoor court reminiscent of the traditional Persian IWAN facing the private garden with a reflective pool at the center. The main entrance to the Villa is from this “Iwan” to an entrance hall and a high ceiling living room with a wall of glass. An open dining area looks into a BAMBOO garden and is near kitchen with sliding doors allowing it to be completely closed if desired.
A staircase with open risers takes one to the upper private area of the bedrooms or to the lower level where the game, family room & a screening room are located. Up above contains two bedrooms, a living room, and a small viewing terrace. At the end of the upper level rectilinear/bridge like volume, is the master bedroom suite with a private terrace hovering above the pool providing panoramic views of the River & the Majestic Mountains.
Connected via a bridge is the GARDEN with grass surface for playing soccer and enjoying the outdoors.
Finally it is the experience of occupying different parts of the site & the hill specially the spaces of IN-BETWEEN volumes, the long stairwell and bridging between nature & Architecture that makes this villa memorable.