Vertical Bazaar, 2018.

The immediate culture and context was a critical influence for how the design emerged. Surrounding urban conditions dictated how connections were able to be laid out into the city and engage the circulation of the proposed design. This identified the design organization by laying out connections into the broader city and encouraging movement through the building, and into important contextual points. The main design strategy is understanding a bazaar and how it functions as a horizontal element, rotating this plan vertically, and defining a vertical bazaar.

The program is a waste-to-energy power plant and bazaar. Sited in the city of Zabbaleen- a community that is known for collecting trash and repurposing- the building brings space to an already existing way of life. The spaces within the design act as nestled layers; with the bazaar markets being at the center, workshops in the middle, and the trash collection at the edges. All of this has a direct connection to the incinerator, located in the largest volume, where the waste-to-energy process is held.

A critical component of the design organization are the drastic internal variations in scale. These size fluctuations are capable of both applying and alleviating a pressure on occupants, creating a dynamic spatial experience. The largest of these spatial fluctuations are the interior courtyards that function as markets. Entire voids are nested at the center of these courtyards that fully open up the space and connect the levels through circular ramps and walkways.

The series of five architectural “characters” challenge notions of conventional design and function without abandoning vernacular architecture strategies. Vernacular design was investigated to progress the project in both systems and design. The passive system of the wind-catcher was implemented in three of the five characters, allowing relief on mechanical system operations and providing light and air penetration into the interior. This was achieved through elevating the bases of the building so that air could move through and cool down the interiors through a misting system. The façade graphics reference the local calligraffiti- a hybrid art form of graffiti and calligraphy- applied to buildings in Zabbaleen.

In collaboration with Amir Ashtiani.