Cheshm-o-Cheragh Bazaar
Mashhad, Iran

Although a major place of pilgrimage for its 400-year-old shrine of Imam Reza, Mashhad has been dubbed "the anti-dialogue city" by sociologists due to prioritisation of individual over public interests. Its historic centre has been extensively demolished and replaced by high-rises. The project for this bazaar, on the same square as the shrine, counters this damaging trend. Municipal regulations permitted three storeys, or more through purchasing additional licences. Instead, embedded into the ground and rising to two storeys, the bazaar avoids exceeding the shrine’s height. Built of bricks salvaged from nearby demolitions, it promotes this historic material’s value. Outside, it has minimum openings. Inside, it is transparent and fluid: voids keep the volume penetrable from top to bottom, going against the common typology to create a new type of contemporary bazaar. Discussions sparked by the project have led to a detailed government plan being established for the shrine’s urban context.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Mashhad, Iran
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Completed 2020
2,654 m²
Building Usages