New York practice Hariri & Hariri Architecture, DPC—along with local architect Navid Ghasemi—has recently completed a 160-foot-tall office tower in the heart of the Iranian capital of Tehran.

The twelve story tower’s main attraction is its double skinned facade. Vast swathes of glass comprise the exterior’s inner layer while an eye-catching shading device gives the building its pronounced aesthetic. Using aluminum panels fabricated with a laser cutter, the signature facade emulates Islamic iconography found in mandalas. The motif comes from the Persian symbolism of paradise, depicted by the geometric intersection of a circle and square. On the Alvand Tower’s facade, this imagery has been abstracted and repeated, wrapping around the building’s orthogonal form.

Hariri and Hariri Tehran tower

(Courtesy Moein Hosseini)

Come sun-down, the high-rise flaunts a glowing pink facade, with the bright coloring shining from a vast array of LED accent lighting tucked into the building’s second skin’s cavity. The result of this inverses the facade’s image, but its message remains the same. Geometric openings, once silhouettes beneath the aluminum paneling, are illuminated, allowing the blue tint of the glasswork and interior to mimic the blues often found in Islamic artwork found on ancient Persian domes.

Hariri and Hariri Tehran tower

(Courtesy Moein Hosseini)

With the main structure seemingly lightweight, the tower is attached a much heavier, marble-clad service core on the north side which attends to much of the building’s circulatory needs. Meanwhile, at the tower’s base, space for retail facilitates public engagement with the building.

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