FREEDOM TOWER
CLIENT: Crescent Moon Project
LOCATION: New York, New York
TEAMMIIM Designs
STATUS: Built

HISTORY: The Azadi Tower, literally the Freedom or Liberty Tower, previously known as the "Shahyad Tower" meaning "King Memorial Tower", is one of the symbols of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and marks the west entrance to the city. Built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, this "gateway into Tehran" was named the "Shahyad" in honor of the Shah, but was changed to "Azadi" after the Revolution of 1979. The design resembles two significant periods in Iranian  architecture: the Persian Dynasty, before the Islamic culture, Sassanid period, with the hyperbolic paraboloid saddle point central arch, the chahar taq (four arches), conic geometry, and the rich and varied patterns of the Islamic period, emulating the the Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, pointed vault in the center represents the mihrab, or prayer niche, embodying the complex series of the ribs under the void and negative space. The ribbing has connected the straight line to the under parabola, the “belly” of the tower. The ribbings are outlines of an ellipse, mirrored on the vertical axis. The tower is 50 meters (164 ft) tall and completely clad in cut marble. 

CONCEPT: The Azadi Tower, was designed to be “The Icon” of the Persian Empire. However, the tower has been a symbol of the political and historical timeline of Iran, movies, pictures and social media has always depicted  the Azadi Tower as the heart and soul of Iran Nation: ‘71 Persian Empire Celebration, the Revolution ’79, Iran-Iraq War ’80-89, unprecedented election of Khatami, the Green Movement and etc. The people of the Persian land, along with the Azadi Tower, have always been at the core heart of shaping the next generation. This installation is dedicated to the people of Iran – the “back and rib bones” of a very culturally rich country with extreme and complex personality. The installation is to screen the historical time-line of the events that have taken place at Azadi Tower from the first day of celebration to present day. A series of slides and movies are to be projected on the inside of the ribs, where the audiences, the backbone of the country, are able to look up and see the history of the country. The installation made in white semi-transparant polypropylene honeycomb sandwich panels, is to blend in the white space of a gallery, disappearing from the exterior, and the inside of the installation is to be celebrated. The semi-transparent panels representing the ability to see “freedom”, but still caged in, a “glass ceiling” metaphore. The insulation allows for the users to step inside the core, feel the physical tension and compression of the times through the extruded ribs, creating a Persian chandelier effect, and be surrounded with the historical images, scenes and sounds. 

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