From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

ZAV Architects Create Colorful Dome Village on Iran's Hormuz Island

The vibrant project is part of a large initiative to empower the island's community.


How to Live With Joie de Vivre


How to Live With Joie de Vivre

Ajiri Aki translates the French approach to everyday pleasure into a modern...

Alfredo Paredes’ American Dream in Provincetown


Alfredo Paredes’ American Dream in Provincetown

Ralph Lauren’s longtime creative officer brings his rugged American aesthetic to...

Happy Clothes for Practical People


Happy Clothes for Practical People

Mara Hoffman has become a reliable and sustainable go-to for fun, functional...

It looks like something out of a storybook, but the colorful dome village on Hormuz's island in Iran is a stunning real-life community on the Persian Gulf designed by ZAV Architects.

Called Presence in Hormuz, the project is described as a "cultural residence" featuring approximately 200 interconnected dome-shaped dwellings splashed with brightly-colored paint. Among them are 15 homes, restaurants, stores, and tourist information areas, all meant to encourage tourism to the island. And the inspiration behind the unique shape and color comes from the colorful landscape of the island and its natural topography.

Related: The Most Stunning Buildings in the World

While the exterior of the buildings is certainly striking, so are the interiors, where bold colors were also used. Everything from the walls to the furniture is covered in red, yellow, green, and blue shades. According to the design firm, the reason was to pay homage to the boldness of the island.

As far as the construction, each dome was crafted using the "superadobe" technique invented by Iranian-born architect Nader Khalili. Basically, the structures are made of stacked sandbags filled with sand and soil dredged from the Hormuz dock. Those molded sandbags were then supported with steel and topped off with cement to create the final dome-shaped appearance.

Related: This New Guangzhou Theater Is Covered in Embroidered Silk Imagery

The reason for that low-tech type of construction was to allow the buildings to be constructed by locals without craftsmen skills. But, after completing this dome village, ZAV Architects hopes this newfound skillset can be translated to other projects. Plus, this is part of the firm's bigger mission of creating several urban developments to empower the island's local community and increase tourism with architecture at the core.

This is just the latest project by the Tehran-based architecture studio. It's also behind The Rong Cultural Centre on the island of Hormuz, which was named Cultural project of the year at Dezeen Awards 2019.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.