138 Benetton Building Benetton大樓

2009 (competition 競賽) | Teheran, Iran 伊朗德克蘭
Team Lee Shu-fan, Ching Wai-keung, Hung Chi-tai
設計 李樹勳, 程偉強, 熊子泰
Designing a building in Teheran for the brand which is famously outspoken in conflicts is particularly challenging. The architecture in this regard requires to nurture the values of the global brand that is Benetton and at the same time pays tribute and respect to the culture that is local. The fact that a Benetton building is landing on Teheran is inevitably physical, yet its message should be boundless in execution.
The 50-meter long side of the site fronting the busy street of Vali Asr Ave with vehicles and passersby coming in both directions presents a great opportunity for multiple readings. The major volume of the building is skewed to respond to the context for light and air, while revealing itself to be an integrated billboard to deliver messages from different angles. A front facade made of continuous vertical fins presents itself as a ‘veil’ for the building, constantly changing its degree of transparency when being looked at from different angles along the street. From the south side the short ends of the fins are installed with LED which constantly changes with advertisements that deliver the Benetton messages while at the same time allows people inside the building to look out and interact with the people on the street looking towards them at the screen. While reading from the north side, the very same fins are positioned as to block the low angle west sun. From this angle, the veil becomes relatively more opaque and reveals a subtle Benetton logo made from cutouts from the fins which also allow more view angle for the people inside.
This frontal identifiable and ephemeral feature not only blends the commonplace feature of modern technology of message screen, which is often boundless in delivery, but it also assimilates the elements found in traditional buildings, with scripts often found on the exterior of religious architecture. The seemingly conflicting nature of the old and new are thus in coexistence and united, while allowing and respecting the rights of speech on its facade, and at the same time responsive to architectural formalities.