this integrated retail and accommodation center-cum-fuel station is located alongside a road connecting ghazvin to rasht at the heart of an arid and hot region of the iranian plateau. habibeh madjdabadi’s ‘lunar complex’ occupies an area of 45000 m2 and the footprint of the building occupies just 7500 m2. the complex includes a petrol station, accommodation, restaurant, car park, and retail shops for the local handicrafts and food products. the project in loshan valley is conceived as a land-art, panoramic terrace and bazaar.

the climbable roof is a common feature of the native architecture



the zoomorphic form with lunar skyline of iranian based architect habibeh madjdabadi‘s ‘lunar complex’ has to do with the morphology of the land and with the vernacular architecture of the hot and arid zones of central iran. although apparently the building is not following any kind of consolidated typology, its special organization and the nozzle-shape skylights, recalls the traditional bazaars.

the building is conceived as a land-art, panoramic terrace and bazaar



the climbable roof is a common feature of the autochthonous architecture. in the historical districts, the roofs form a sort of public plaza where the people gather and walk from one house to another.

the entrance is obtained by the roof surface downward flexion



the entrance is an important part of the building. it is a place of transition and according to the climate-based traditions, it should be vast and shaded. in this building, the entrance is obtained by the roof surface downward flexion. the architect has made sparing use of the openings. habibeh madjdabadi asserts, ‘design shadows, rather than light’. for the last thousand years, iranian architects have treated the facade in such way to create shadows on the outer skin, and to modulate the natural light entering the indoor spaces.

the entrance is an important part of the building



in the traditional bazaars, the spot skylights are arranged linearly to organize the internal space and facilitate orientation. here in a similar way, the light coming from the top, organizes the internal space. the color and finishing texture of habibeh madjdabadi’s ‘lunar complex’ is in harmony with the surrounding ground. the main material is pigmented concrete, but resembles a natural material such as kahgel — clay and straw.

shaded entrance area with a large skylight

the light coming from the top, organizes the internal space the same way as a traditional iranian bazaar


site plan




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

  • Love this building … like the idea of its walkable roof … a novel structure …both playful and dangerous

    Leonardo Sideri says:

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