Super Adobe

Hormuz is an island, south of Iran, in the strategic, in the Persian Gulf.
It lays claim to being an historic port that controls shipments
of petroleum from the middle east.

Its mountainous terrain is jagged and dramatic, full of rich, earthy color. The geography is indeed beautiful, but without sufficient tourism, residents often
fall prey to illegal trafficking activities, using their boats.

In a unique attempt to boost the local economy and empower its residents in another direction, the Tehran based firm ZAV Architects, have built a brightly colored and visually engaging community right on the beach, with the sensational jagged mountain range as the backdrop.

The multipurpose development is called ‘Majara’ and it is intended to tie together the lives of the local people and visitors, both culturally and economically.

What you see from the sea is a cluster of candy-colored domes, like huge, pointy Easter eggs of multiple sizes, pushed down into the sand. Over 100 of these bulbous forms are grouped together amid winding pathways. The interiors are extraordinary in their different hights and primary colors and are beautifully simplistic and minimalist in design.

The structures are made using an innovative building method called superadobe, which involves layering long fabric tubes filled with earth and other organic materials, like straw, to form a compression structure.
The multicolored domes were built with the help of the local residents, who were trained in the superadobe process.

This mud bag construction is well suited to the hot, arid climate, as earth-based materials are both readily available and provide wonderful thermal mass.
The interiors are cool during the day as the thick earthen walls absorb the sun’s heat and then radiate it back inside at night.

This successful and gorgeous eco-friendly design, has won multiple architectural awards and achieved its purpose of encouraging tourism, boosting the economy and uniting the community that lives there.