Azadi Cinema Complex

About the project

Location: Tehran, Iran

Building Type: Multiplex, commercial centre, business center, and exhibition gallery

Surface: 16 000 m²

International competition: First prize

Project: 1998–2000

Intended to host film festivals and exhibitions, the New Azadi Cinema Center was designed as a dichotomy of two distinct elements: the first suggests the shape of a giant amphitheater that links the building to its surroundings, while the second consists of a large cylindrical screen that rises in the middle of the complex. The latter faces out towards the city and symbolizes the 20th century spectacle – the Cinema.

The upper part of the screen contains a multisection roof that opens like an eye to the sky above. With its glass roof, the base extends out towards the city as if to welcome the public.

A shopping gallery separates the cinema complex from the commercial center. The two are visually linked through a large atrium that allows natural light to reach the heart of the building.

A vast round foyer has been created at this junction, serving as the entrance for the two levels of the complex.