Zav Architects-designed residential villa in Iran is inspired by panoramic views of its rural surroundings


Tehran-based Zav Architects’ latest project in  northern Iran is this boxy house named Cheshm Cheran (belvedere). Designed as a series of enclosed living units, it features outdoor platforms and social spaces with views across the rural landscape.


Located in the hills outside the city of Minudasht in Iran’s Golestan Province, the property sits on a built area of 298 m2 on a site of around half an acre. The brief for the architecture firm was to take into consideration the site’s natural topography and to enhance its rural context – it sits on a patch of land next to a rainwater reservoir. The client also wanted to make the unobstructed views from the site its focal point.


Concrete floor slabs on each level have designed in such a way that they create panoramic views through the gaps, especially in the opposing corners where the concrete overhangs seem to be framing the rural vistas. Connected to the nearby swimming pool and open-air barbecue pavilion, the massive concrete slab functions as a viewing platform. Three staggered bedrooms partially occupy the platform in such a way that each room opens out onto the deck.

A staircase between the bedrooms runs through a void to the top floor connects with a sheltered deck occupying almost half of the floor.  The landing point at the top of the stairs leads to an open space comprising living, dining and kitchen areas. Enclosed with large full length windows, the inside space merges harmoniously with the adjoining outdoor terrace.

The stone steps leading down towards the central area of the property align with the original slope of the site, following on from the design brief to preserve the natural elements and keep the built distractions as minimum as possible. This includes retaining a tree growing up through a void. 

The ground floor contains a large gym with separate changing rooms for men and women, a tennis court as well as a mechanical room servicing the house.
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