Following news that the anti-capitalist protestors are to be evicted from the Norman Foster designed HSBC building, in Hong Kong, we turn our attention to an equally noteworthy financial institution, albeit one that’s yet to be built.
Iran presents architects with a unique set of challenges: the country has a stable economy, is volatile from a seismic point of view, and is from some perspectives strikingly modern and from others remarkably conservative.
With these thoughts in mind, we admire the Chilean architecture practice, Alejandro Aravena, which won first place in the competition to design Tehran’s new stock exchange.
The brief placed certain restrictions on height, required plans to fit in with the city’s surroundings and favoured a minimalist, artful submission.
Araven’s plans might look monolithic at first glance, yet the design actually allows for a myriad of social spaces, from one-on-one meeting studios through to larger group-meeting rooms, and open environments for collective trading activities. The building’s porous brick skin lets light in during the day and allows a soft, lamp-like glow to escape after dark, with stock-ticker readouts running across the exchange’s surface. It’s also well ventilated, earthquake resistant, and makes great use of underground spaces. Although winning the competition doesn’t guarantee construction, we hope that this exchange is completed. Trading places are rarely as striking as this.
For more impressive buildings in exotic locales, try our 21st Century World Architecture Travel Edition. It’s the ideal city-break companion for all archifans.