Europe & Central Asia » Iran » Ahvaz

Ahvaz, between Uruk and the Parai-Daiza, Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim
  Pedro B. Ortiz Santo Ahvaz Iran Metropolitan Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  The Epic of Gilgamesh, the first ever epic, represented the confrontation of the city and the countryside. The submission of the countryside (Enkidu) to the city (Gilgamesh). Both become friends and complement each other. Wishful thinking… That has not been the case for the 3.000 years since it was written. The city has exploited the rural as the outsider to be under its control. Metro-Matrix presents for the first time a dialogue among both, possible at the metropolitan scale where rural and urban have to be integrated for the sake of trendy sustainability and climate change. The definition of Uruk in the final lines of the Epic represents the metropolitan digit unit of the Metro-Matrix: The BUD.
In the other hand, Ahvaz is at the edge of the submerged Eden of the Torah and the Bible. With the Ice Age, sea level was 100 meters lower and the Paradise (Parai-Daiza in old Avestan: “Royal Walled Garden”) described junction of the 4 rivers is now under the Persian Gulf. Ahvaz is the closest city to that location, and the Ahvaz river, the Gihon, (Karun) is one of the four rivers of Paradise. Adam and Eve drunk from its waters.
With this inheritance, one of the most important ones in the world, Ahvaz must be to the challenge of the metropolitan age. It has to succeed to show the path, as it has done, with Uruk, for 6.000 years of urbanization history. The Metro-Matrix is the instrument for it.
Ahvaz, Heritage without Legacy
  Pedro B. Ortiz Ahvaz Iran Metropolitan Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  Ahvaz, one of the Iranian largest cities, is located on South Western of Iran near Iraq border and the Persian Gulf. Varied geography, natural resources and relations, allowed human dwelling by building a civic and social life. However, today’s Ahvaz has, unlike its origin and nature, turned into a critical situation. The research provides a proposal in one of the Ahvaz metropolitan centralities, to transform its critical status to a new one based on its original identity. It states natural, social and cultural issues by descriptive methodology and defines proposal accordingly.

With the achievement of the bigness scale, theorized by Rem Koolhaas in the ’90s, we passed the paradigm of the sustainability of the finite urban form, and the question that emerges is related to the definition of new metabolic sustainability that might be able to constitute the model for the urban growth. It may allow us to consider the urban growth phenomena through critical thresholds and paradigmatic transformations, which removes and replaces incorporating parts by selection, pre-existing structures which now are not able to support the new scale and complexity of the contemporary city, leading to decay and abandonment.

Metabolism related to a metropolis means the urban system re-configuration by maintenance, substitution and transformation, and it is fundamental to understand the incremental goal of a metropolitan work according to the relations between cultural, energetic and productive investments. The problem of how the old part of the city, the new and neglected ones are integrated as a whole is emerging. It is necessary, to think about a new language of composition, which refuses direct references to a pseudo –picturesque historicism. Thus, the public realm requires the construction of narration, through our architecture, that is able to tell stories about who we are and what a city wants to be.