Guallart Architects



Local partner: Bonsar Architecture Studio

Project 2008

The project ‘The Seven Gates to Alborz’ is an opportunity to redefine the relationship between Tehran, a major global metropolis, and the mountain range to which it owes its foundation. The project proposes to create focal points of attraction between the edge of the city and the mountains that will act as a monumental gateway, creating a virtual boundary between city and nature.

The ‘gateways’ are on the urban periphery, near the residential buildings, making them readily accessible by public transport. Each gateway is flanked by two parks that are laid out on historic water courses, thus creating a new urban landmark and serving to establish a rhythm in the relationship between the city and its mountains.

Each of the constructions will unite and separate, both a gateway and a bridge: a platform from which to contemplate the city from a privileged location by a 30-kilometre walking path that will pass through the gateway-bridge.


A city has homes, workplaces, services and amenities. The seven gateways to the Alborz should primarily contain urban amenities. If a Master Plan is drawn up for all the new urban nodes, it must be decided whether they all have the same uses or each one has different uses so that the sum of and relationships between them all generate an entity of a higher order.

We propose to create seven gateways, each with a distinctive principal use related to culture, art and science, and a range of leisure uses. Each use will be strategically sited in relation to its position in the city: on the western edge a gateway for Adventure; the second will be for science, next to the University; then culture, health, sports, art and finally a centre for sports with animals.

Each gate should have a distinctive main use and other secondary uses which will be present in all seven — places for reading and exhibition spaces, urban services and landscaped areas.

The cultural gate to Alborz is on the edge of the city between the Kan and Sowhanak parks. The project consists of:

- A new car park for 436 cars and 16 buses, connected to the amenity.
- Pedestrian access to and from the public transport bus stop by way of a park.
- A gateway-bridge dedicated to culture with a library, mediatheque, exhibition rooms and lecture halls.

The park will be laid out on the basis of a connectible topographical system, which will combine wooded areas, walks, water channels and rest areas.


Date: 2008
Client: Development of Cultural Environment Co.
Local partner: Bonsar Architecture Studio
Site: Tehran, Iran
Architecture: Guallart Architects
Main architects: Vicente Guallart, María Díaz
Collaborators: Fernando Meneses, Daniela Frogheri, Luis Fraguada, Andrea Imaz, Marcin Siekaniec, Katarzyna Ząbczyk, Iwona Tajer, Pilar Díaz Rodríguez, Karen Kemp, Shahrzad Rahmani, Guillermo I. López Domínguez
Images: Solène Couet, Romain Lelièvre, Cyril Breton