Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre | ASA North
Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022 Shortlisted Tehran / Iran / 2020
“Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre” is a former 1920’s beer distillery in the center of Tehran that Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture - North converted into a contemporary arts center and is now the new home of the Pejman Foundation, equipped with six distinct gallery spaces & the permanent collection, library, artist residency, event spaces, private studio apartment, art-shop, VIP observation deck, offices and a non-alcoholic bar serving re-issued Argo draft beers.
Led by Iranian - Austrian Architect, Ahmadreza Schricker, founder of ASA North, in partnership with Hobgood Architects, who were involved in the project’s concept phase, the transformation of Argo Factory into a Museum provides a net increase of approximately 85% to the original spaces (from 480 m2 to 1,890m2) and features three distinct public spaces: (A) a high capacity auditorium, equipped for film screening and forums, (B) an intimate penthouse level observatory, with panoramic views of Tehran and (C) a pubic courtyard that is always open to the local neighborhood and welcomes visitors that want to socialize, rest or enjoy a pint of non alcoholic draft beer.
The design began with inserting new structural foundations, while retaining the expressive exposed brick load bearing walls and tapped into the DNA of traditional local metal roofs and rewrote them as five performative floating roofs: each considering an unrepeated lighting atmosphere, for the cultural program underneath it. A completely new isolated L shaped exhibition space for the permanent collection is now located in the underground level. A new 70 square-meter capsule tower located on a narrow footprint at the southern edge of the Factory, clad in diverse strata of cast in place concrete, houses a space for artists-in-residence.
The new underpinning structure, designed by structural engineer Behrang Bani Adam, allows the architectural expression to maintain a subtle conversation between the old and new and also re-holds the entire factory together, not allowing it to be torn down. Another one of the complex structural features of Argo is a new grand staircase to the main gallery floor. The stair’s entire twelve-meter length was designed without any middle supports, with poured in place, exposed concrete slabs 140 millimeters thick. A new custom-fabricated elevator utilizes a triple layer, punctured metal skin that produces a moray-effect as it moves.
Argo Factory is the first private contemporary art museum to be built in Tehran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution and is the only new built contemporary art museum in Tehran, after “Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art” which was established in the year of 1977. Argo Factory has become one of the main cultural hubs of the city and an attractor for international visitors as well and it has been cited as a catalyst for the renovation of neighboring structures, spurring cultural revitalization in downtown Tehran.
Location: No. 6, Behdasht St, Taqavi St, District 12, Tehran Province, Iran
Architect: Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture – North (led by Ahmadreza Schricker)
Client: Pejman Foundation (led by Hamidreza Pejman).
Total Area: 1,890 square-meters (20,340 square feet) including six distinct gallery spaces, library, artist residency, event spaces, a private studio apartment, a non-alcoholic draft beer bar, an art shop and a VIP observation deck & panoramic room.
1921 The original Argo structure is built.
1930 The structure is converted into the Argo Brewery.
1970 Argo Brewery is shutdown, leaving the structure abandoned for nearly fifty years.
2016 The Pejman Foundation acquires Argo Factory, holding a design competition to convert the space.
2017 ASA North is commissioned for the re-design of Argo Factory
2018 Construction on Argo Factory begins.
2019 ASA North’s re-design is completed.
2020 January: Argo Factory re-opens to the public as a contemporary art museum & cultural centre.
- CREDITS -
ARCHITECT OF RECORD
Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture - North
81 Quincy Street, Unit 2, Brookly, New York, United States,
+1 (917) 214 4662
Ahmadreza Schricker Architetcure - North: Ahmadreza Schricker (Lead Architect), Mehdi Holakoi (ASA North – Job Captain), Mona Jan-Ghorban (ASA North – Project Manager), Amin Mahdavi (ASA North – Special Advisor), Behrang Bani-Adam (ASA North – Structural Engineer), Christine Noblejas (ASA North – Special Advisor)
COLLABORATING ARCHITECT (CONCEPT PHASE):
Hobgood Architects: Patrick Hobgood, David Ji, Alan Tin, Cam Fuller, Robert Macia (structure)
General Contractor/Builder: Vandad Developments
Structural Engineer: Behrang Bani-Adam
Design Advisor: Oana Stanescu
Concrete Manufacturer: Brutal Beton
MEP: Ali Reza Mir-Taheri
Electrical: Aydin Afshar
Lighting Design: The SEED Co. –with - Nooraform Eng Co.
Vertical Transportation: Reza Zolfaghari
HVAC: Shah-Rokhi Group, Media Group
Frames & Mullions: Ali Shahroudi Reflex Workshop– and- Frame Group
Interval Images: Ahmadreza Schricker & Mona Jan Ghorban
Drone Images: Keyvan Radan
Other Images: ASA North
“Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre” is a former 1920’s beer distillery in the center of Tehran that Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture - North converted into a contemporary arts center and is now the new home of the Pejman Foundation, equipped with six distinct gallery spaces & the permanent collection, library, artist residency, event spaces, private studio apartment, art-shop, VIP observation deck, offices and a non-alcoholic bar serving re-issued Argo...
- Year 2020
- Work finished in 2020
- Client Pejman Foundation (led by Hamidreza Pejman)
- Status Completed works
- Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Museums / Art Galleries