Hajar Eslami
Islamic Republic of Iran

Project idea

Mankind and all creatures are always connected to nature; they are actually part of it. Although in some areas, the factors of the ecosystem make life harder for human beings, but it is possible to make the best use of the special circumstances of the environment for our lives.
Located in the southeast of Iran, Sistan and Baluchestan Province is a desert region with hot and dry climate and is the host of long-duration winds with high speed. These winds carry a great amount of desert sand into the cities, considerably raising the pollution of residential arias up to eight times higher than the acceptable level of air pollution. This not only leads to an increase in respiratory diseases and heart problems, but also buries many residential areas under the sand, destroys vegetation and agriculture lands, causes death for many people across the region or even disrupts their lives for four months.
The most vulnerable city in this province is called Zabul. The goal of this project is to design a residential complex in this area, which controls the incoming wind, reduces its subsequent pollution, improves the people’s lives and helps them survive and dwell in a dynamic environment inspired by historical buildings of the region and local thoughts.

Project description

Considering the city’s extremely hot and dry climate, Zabul always faces drought and lack of water. The average rainfall of the region is extremely low, while heavy rainfalls have destroyed many buildings in this area.
As long as it can be remembered in the history of the region, every year for four months of hot climate, this area has had 120-day winds with up to 120 km/h speed. While the acceptable speed of wind for the regular life of man is 6.1 meters per second, the speed of wind in this area sometimes reaches 6 to 9 meters per second. Even wind speeds of up to 13 m/s have been reported, which are due to human factors like errors in urban design, say, having main streets aligned with the wind direction or having flat buildings on both sides of the streets. This level of wind speed can carry a great amount of desert sand into residential areas, increasing the air pollution level up to 14 times higher than the acceptable limit. Eventually, this leads to respiratory diseases, digestive disorders, heart problems and even death, or it can disrupt the lives of the residents.
The city of Zabul is located near the border between Iran (Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and Afghanistan. For the sake of security of the province and the whole country and also preventing the increase of drug smuggling in this area, this place needs healthy life for its people.
The history of life in this area goes back to over 1400 years ago. Ancient residents used to build curved buildings calld “Asbad” in a line against the direction of wind, making use of the speed of wind for their mills which used grindstones to make flour. They also built their houses behind these wind deflectors, which could secure their everyday lives.
Inspired by the historical buildings of this region, the current project includes enormous wind deflectors placed in a linear fashion against the wind, while the residential buildings are placed behind these shields. The main role of these shield structures is to lead the wind pass below the complex, where wind turbines are placed in order to generate electricity. Not only will this secure the lives of the residents from wind, but also it can provide power for the complex.

Technical information

The houses incorporate hollow and full spaces with a different layout in order to make use of different spaces and have permanent shadows to decrease the temperature level of the complex. Also, these spaces can have a considerable role during other possible speeds of winds. Furthermore, the positioning of trees between buildings is to create a better connection between man and nature, as well as maintaining the temperature at a proper level.
The buildings are designed with different capacities, while they can be further expanded by the predetermined columns, allowing for greater population by a certain amount if needed.
The wind deflectors have curved structures which, beside their main function, create a monumental view of the history of the city and the province.
Also, the inward slope of the wind deflectors helps collect the rainwater of the whole complex and transfer it to water tanks, while the water purification is processed beneath the wind deflectors. This will prevent the overflow of water during heavy rains. It can also provide a portion of drinking water and help the agriculture mechanism implemented within the complex. This mechanism uses artificial light technology and reduces water consumption by 95 percent. This will be a big deal, since no city (or even no province) in the vicinity is able to export food, as they frequently face droughts, which is one of the reasons of poverty among 75 percent of the population in this region.
Furthermore, it is of great importance to note that the design of the whole complex tries to maintain the original Iranian living spaces using local material, in order to be consistent with the culture of its people.

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