caat studio uses bricks to diversify low-cost apartment complex in iran
caat studio uses bricks to diversify low-cost apartment complex in iran caat studio uses bricks to diversify low-cost apartment complex in iran
jun 15, 2015

caat studio uses bricks to diversify low-cost apartment complex in iran

caat studio uses bricks to diversify low-cost apartment complex in iran
all images courtesy of parham taghiof, ashkan radnia




kahrizak, southwest of tehran, iran is a poor area that has seen massive growth in both size and population in recent years. formerly, the district was predominately rural, its lands used for farming to supply the capital’s residents with fresh produce. due to the quickness of outward sprawl, outlying towns are now being completely taken over. farms lands are gone, their space giving way to block upon block of apartments and shops.

brick gives each unit a distinct look while remaining very low-cost




the people of kahrizak, haven’t adjusted as quickly as the landscape they find themselves in. dwellers in the region are mostly migrant laborers coming from humble origins and living on low incomes. because of their financial situations, more importance has been put on the quantity of housing, rather than quality. residences are often overly dark and poorly constructed, but are extremely popular due to their affordability.

caat studio apartment complex kahrizak iran designboom
brick variations




tehran-based firm caat studio, was approached with a half-finished project in the area. the client had halted construction due to budget constraints after finishing only two stories. it was decided that the best solution was simply to leave the completed blocks — located on the north side — and enhance the building by creating a secondary set of units on the southern portion of the site.

front façade




the monetary situation hadn’t changed, forcing the project to be completed on a shoestring budget. to bring costs down, caat studio employed local workers and selected inexpensive materials such as brick and concrete that could be sourced locally. to add variation to the façade, the bricks were placed in various orientations, giving each unit a distinct look. a small window runs floor to ceiling in each apartment, providing inhabitants plenty of natural light.

caat studio apartment complex kahrizak iran designboom

brick detail

window shapes

caat studio apartment complex kahrizak iran designboom



caat studio apartment complex kahrizak iran designboom



project info:


location: kahrizak, iran
architect: mahdi kamboozia — caat studio
design collaborator: helena ghanbari
assistant: alireza movahedi
footprint: 1660 sqm
area: 372.5 sqm
year: 2015
photographs: parham taghiof, ashkan radnia



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom

  • what a lousy outcome for the tenants … as if low cost housing has to be even labelled that, we may as well add a brick wall to remind them that they are not really free of choice. And look at the prison type entrance …. cutting the light source by 50% should not be celebrated here

    Peter says:
  • excelent work
    amazing front view

    sparola says:
  • very nice project!

    Doodle Furniture says:
  • What is total cost for the apartment to finish?

    Andi says:
  • Really impressive. Excellent use of the materials. It must have been extremely difficult to come up with a solution allowing completion of the project but thats where the creativity comes in. Without the creativity of the architect this would not have been possible. Not to dismiss the value of the contractor and the design collaborator.

    Ron Smith says:
  • Exceptional craftsmanship hard to find this in the West.

    Dave Jansen says:

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