Adobe Acrobats Made for the moon, built in Iran.

Adobe Acrobats Made for the moon, built in Iran.

Issue 41

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Design

  • Words George Upton
  • Photograph Tahmineh Monzavi

Colorful organic forms have begun to appear on the sparsely populated western shore of Hormuz Island in Iran, rising up out of the island’s distinctive red sand. The initiative of Tehran-based ZAV Architects, the clusters of domed structures—vacation homes, restaurants, cafés and shops—are part of an ongoing project to empower the island’s community while encouraging tourism and investment. 

Central to the scheme is superadobe, an innovative building technique that uses local resources and that can be carried out by unskilled workers. Pioneered by the late Iranian architect Nader Khalili in the 1980s, superadobe was developed in response to a call from NASA for proposals for settlements that could be built on the moon. Khalili came up with the idea of filling polypropylene sac...

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