Tehran offers the largest bookstore in the world
65,000 square meters. The figure makes the head spin but it is yet on this surface that the "Book Garden", recently inaugurated, extends into the city center of the Iranian capital. In addition to its remarkable architecture, this bookstore is simply the largest ever built.
To get an idea of the size of the "Book Garden", just think of the Azadi stadium, one of the largest stadiums on the planet. And to say that this bookstore, inaugurated at the beginning of last July, is the equivalent in square meters of almost ... eight stadiums Azadi! Monumental. With its 65,000 square meters, it dethrones and explodes even what Guinness considered until now as the largest bookstore in the world. This is the Barnes Noble Bookstore, located in New York, and that extends "only" on 14 000 square meters.
This record is so symbolic? Sam Tehranchi has no problem admitting that this was a goal: "Yes, it was. The idea was to dedicate an immense place to the sale and discovery of books, as well as related activities, on a national as well as international scale. At 47, this graduate from the Shahid Beheshti Faculty of Architecture has just made a great move. Since the launch of Design Core Architecture & Urban Designers in 2000, he has been interested in consumer building design and urban planning to improve the quality of life in cities. majors like Tehran ". The "Book Garden", of which he was the principal designer and architect in connection with the company Kayson (engineering and construction) fits clearly in this context. "I can say it was our biggest project and our biggest challenge, using for example the latest construction technologies," says the architect, "and that's what made the project exciting for us. "
"When we started the project 10 years ago, we had the idea of building a truly unique project in the Middle East region," says Sam Tehranchi. "This is a great cultural moment in the country," said Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, still mayor of the capital at the inauguration, a few weeks before Mohammad-Ali Najafi succeeded him.
After more than 10 years of work and a construction site of nearly 50 million euros, this "book garden" is located just a stone's throw from two parks in the city center, Taleghani and Ab-o-Atash. They are connected by another structure that is internationally renowned in the country, the famous Tabiat bridge. This proximity to greenery has greatly influenced the project. The bookstore, built on three floors, is also surmounted by a green roof of 25,000 square meters. "Green spaces and environmental conservation play an important role in the Abbas Abbad district," says its designer. Therefore, in the design of the project, we tried to build something inspired by nature and that sticked with the environment of the site. This roof is the key in harmonizing the bookstore and the surrounding area. So much so that this roof should not be seen as a simple "headgear" of the structure. "It is not considered a cover element but a part of nature. Something that evokes continuity perfectly. The roof garden has this function of cultural public park. Ideal for landing and devouring a work so.
This "green" influence is also felt inside the premises. "In design, we have imagined the place as a vast space that functions in terraced gardens inspired by traditional Iranian gardens," continues Sam Tehranchi. Gardens inside the garden where you can find everything. First books of course, tens of thousands and the ability to offer ... up to a million titles! But this place is more than just a bookstore. "This project aims to teach our children to be active and creative through modern methods and equipment," said Ali Larijani, the president of the Iranian parliament on the day of the inauguration.
In addition to books, there is also an art gallery, shops offering cultural products, workspaces ... "The idea is to offer a public space of high cultural quality, notes Sam Tehranchi. It is an access to knowledge for Iranian families, for all ages especially for children and youth. A place where they can spend their free time around the literary, media and scientific worlds. We can say that it is a sort of leisure park. "
A construction of this scale will necessarily participate both in the regional and international influence of the country. This bookshop, connected to the Tabiat bridge thanks to the pedestrian path called "path of culture", is also a good way to show this Iranian expertise in terms of contemporary architecture. "These structures are well accepted by the population, judge the master of places. This is the main satisfaction of this modern architecture and these spaces of relaxation created in Iran. The goal is really to improve the quality of urban life and create public places to enjoy, learn and explore. This architecture opens horizons of hope and a better future for the population, while promoting the Iranian culture in the world. "