Rotating rooms give Sharifi-ha House
by Next Office a shape-shifting facade


Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Swivelling pods allow the owners of this house in Tehran to adapt to Iran's fluctuating temperatures by opening up rooms in summer, or turning them inwards during winter.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Designed by Tehran studio Next Office, Sharifi-ha House features three rooms that can be rotated 90 degrees to open up views and terraces during Iran's hot summers, and turned back to a horizontal position to keep the house warmer during the cold, snowy winters.

"The openness and closure of the building is a reference to traditional Iranian houses, which offer both a winter and a summer living room," said architect Alireza Taghaboni of Next Office, whose previous projects include a concrete house with a sweeping curved facade.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

"Like many urban plots, this one had a noticeably narrow facade-width compared with its depth. Consequently, our expertise in transforming a two-dimensional facade to a three-dimensional one became indispensable," said Taghaboni, who redesigned plans 16 times for the client throughout the course of the project.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The three pods house a breakfast room on the first floor, a guest room on the second floor, and a home office on the third floor. Each one features a door at the side that provides access to the terrace when they are turned open, and access to the house when they are closed.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

"The house adapts to the functional needs of its users," said Taghaboni. "The guest room can be reconfigured for different purposes. Similarly, the home office and breakfast room can change the formality of their appearance according to their residents' desires."

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The motorised turntables that the pods rest on were made by Germany company Bumat, using a system that theatre sets and car exhibitions also rely on.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Photograph by Salar Motahari

Terraces had to be designed with foldable balustrades that tilt up or down as the pods are being rotated, to accommodate the changeable facade.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Inside, rooms have been divided into two blocks – one at the front and one at the back – with a central void between them to ensure a good flow of light throughout the house when the rooms at the front facade are closed.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Bridges traverse the central void on all levels to connect rooms at the front and back, and internal balconies and windows around the void allow for views between the different rooms and floors.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Two basement levels are devoted to fitness and wellness, with a pool, sauna, gym and billiard table.

Above ground, a three-metre set-back creates space in front of the house for a shallow pool with a glass bottom, which brings dappled light down into the basement.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The ground floor contains a parking space and the housekeeper's quarters, while the next two floors accommodate communal spaces, with a kitchen, dining room and living space on the first floor, and a TV room and smaller kitchen on the second floor.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The dining area on the first floor has been sunken slightly and features wood flooring to visually set it apart from other areas in the open-plan space.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The main living area faces away from the front windows towards a wide-screen TV to create a cinema-like space, and features a recessed fireplace along the side wall.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The top two floors feature more private areas, with a master bedroom and bathroom on the fourth storey, as well as a kitchen and study, and three bedrooms and bathrooms on the fifth storey, which are arranged around a living room.

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

The house is named Sharifi-ha - which translates as Sharif's family - after the clients.

"This kind of naming is used for old Iranian mansions which had summer rooms and winter rooms," Taghaboni told Dezeen. "As we thought our project as the modern version of these, we named the house this way."

Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice

Photography is by Parham Taghioff unless otherwise stated.

Project credits:

Designer: Alireza Taghaboni
Design associates: Roohollah Rasouli, Farideh Aghamohammadi
Detailing design associates: Bahoor Office (Hamid Mohammadi, Amir Taleshi)
Senior consultant in detail: Shahnaz Goharbakhsh
Supervisions: Shahnaz Goharbakhsh, Alireza Taghaboni
Project associates: Mojtaba Moradi, Negar Rahnamazadeh, Asal Karami, Majid Jahangiri, Masoud Saghi, Hossein Naghavi, Fatemeh S.Tabatabaeian, Iman Jalilvand
Construction: Imen Sazeh Fadak Consulting Eng
Landscape consultant: Babak Mostofi Sadri, Omid Abbas Fardi
Structural design: Sohrab Falahi
Mechanical consultant: Hoofar Esmaeili
Electrical consultant: Mohammad Torkamani
Revolving rooms system: Bumat

Sharifi ha House by Nextoffice
Concept diagram – click for larger image
Sharifi ha House by Nextoffice
Rotation diagram – click for larger image


Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
First floor plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Third floor plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Fourth floor plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
First basement level plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Second basement level plan – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Long section – click for larger image
Sharif-ha House by Nextoffice
Cross section – click for larger image
  • Jimmy

    So, in wintertime you don’t have any view to the outside… kind of sad. Maybe it would have been better to implement some well insulated, airtight windows, instead of a costly gimmick like rotating boxes.

  • kwil

    Jimmy’s getting angry! Jimmy doesn’t like rotating boxes.

    • jimmy

      Lol. You must be very faint-hearted if you think that is being angry – I’m simply trying to analyse the project and reflect on it.

      • Observer

        You are being really bitter Jimmy. Are you envious of the Persian architects? You have the option of not rotating your rooms in winter you silly beans.

        • Jimmy

          If there is no need to rotate them in wintertime, then why can they rotate? Then the whole point of rotation becomes meaningless and simply a gimmick.

  • pg

    Jimmy’s got a point.

  • Fred

    Rotating boxes is one thing, but what about those genies that make handrails and balustrades appear and disappear between photos 10 and 11!

    • Jenny Song

      I was wondering the same thing!

    • Atheneum

      The handrail and balustrade are still there, the camera angle makes the illusion of having them disappear. :-)

  • Ooley

    The problem is – all the nationalisation aside – it’s not a solution to anything. It’s just a gesture and another modernist cube with no connection to its surroundings, culture, and the architectural tradition of Iran. Its minimalist interior is fine in photos but horrible to experience in real life, especially in a city with more than 290 days a year of bright sunshine.

  • kwil

    Hey Jimmy
    I totally agree with you. Getting tired of gimmicks in design projects myself.
    This one seems pointless!!
    Did you see the size of this house? The designer couldn’t create a space within all that volume to get shelter from the sun?
    Waste of space!
    PS my Jimmy’s getting angry was merely a
    riff on a famous Seinfeld character.

  • Evan

    Mmmm. Hope there is room for a small flat for the 24-hour maintenance and repair engineer.

  • Rich

    Yes it will be a long time before this concept “trickles down”.

  • siavash shareghi

    It’s all relives the architect point of view to how think and see creatively without limitations. Genius he is! Let’s judge it as a masterpiece which pushes boundaries and shows us new definition of house.