Art Cafe, with an approximate area of 60 square meters, is located at the corner of Parinaz Alley on Razi Street. Considering the context of 11th district of Tehran, which includes buildings such as City Theater, Vahdat Hall, Farhang Hall, Shahrzad theater, University of Tehran, Cinema Halls and numerous bookstores, it can be seen that the project’s platform is culturally and artistically rich and is a gathering place for many artists and enthusiasts of theater, performances, cinema, music and … as a result, the importance of public spaces such as cafes and restaurants in this area is very high. In their initial visits to the former building of the cafe, the project design team noticed special conditions in the adjacent passage. Due to the abandonment and neglect of some residential houses in the project area, the structure of the neighborhood included vacant spaces that led to insecurity and social irregularities. The adjacent passage to the project was a dead-end alley that had no access from within to the neighbors, and it had turned into an unsafe place with the occurrence of unethical behaviors. Injecting and selling drugs, a place for addicts to sleep, creating noise pollution, occurrence of unconventional sexual behaviors, etc. were some of the problems of this dead-end. In order to face what was considered a threat to the project and the city, we decided to hold meetings to share ideas and listen to the concerns of the neighbors with them, so that the proposed solution is the result of a collective participation, and we would all take responsibility for realizing and preserving them. With this description, we raised an important question for the project, and that was how we can design a cafe that, while being distinctive, is homogeneous and related to the cultural nods of the region, and by participating in the process of urban regeneration, generating attention and security in the area and fill in the gap of the context. Therefore, we involved the project with the city in both form and content, we transformed the adjacent alley into an urban open gallery in connection with the cafe with an expandable structural design so that the client, neighbors and the city could share in a common profit. Now, this gallery alley was a significant potential for our project, which, due to its high traffic usage, helped to create security and the formation of the life flow in the former abandoned dead-end. Furthermore, due to its usage it could be a place for holding cultural events of the neighborhood and the interaction of the residents of the area with each other. Art has moved away from the traditional white cube galleries and was hosted by all the city’s residents in the vicinity of a busy street. Citizens who would occasionally come across it by chance. Like a sweeper who entered it like other alleys and all the city’s residents from all ethnicity. The project is composed of spatial Vases made of rusted iron sheets, as if it is an artistic piece itself, preserved the memory of the construction phases within it. These vases have defined the sitting area, WC, ceiling and lighting elements in the interior space, and with their extension on the sidewalk and Parinaz Alley, they define the space of the gallery and location for installing artworks. A unified structure that strives to blur the boundaries between the outside and inside. The geometry used in the design of the vases has influenced details such as the lighting of the gallery, the entrance stairs, the handle and the mirror of the WC and has also made them homogeneous. The concrete panels of the walls, in addition to covering the visual extras such as electrical panels, meters, etc., have the role of a background that looks neutrally like a white canvas to the role of the vases, and in the end, the greenary inside and outside the project gives freshness and vitality to the project. Art Cafe stood up to change the fate of Parinaz Alley, to release its fate from this dead-end and be a source for creation… May its path be green, bright and mixed with art.
Art Alley Cafe
Old & New (Reuse and adaption, Renovation, Restoration, Regeneration)