Tabiat Bridge | Symbol of Iran Contemporary Architecture
“My father believed that confidence was the most important thing you could teach a child. Even when I was little, he would do things to make me feel important. One of my earliest memories is a taxi driver asking my father to put me on his lap, so he could fit one more passenger. But my father insisted that I deserved my own seat.“
-Alireza Behzadi (Co-architect of Tabiat bridge)
Tabiat (Nature) Bridge
If this introduction is not enough for one to slide into a tall bridge in the heart of the capital of Iran, I do not know what else is. I was a resident in Malaysia at the time when I read this on the Facebook page of “humans of New York” , and the collaboration between the two designers seemed to have created an interesting space.
Being an architect myself who have studied and worked for many years abroad I thought: wow! Iranian modern architecture seems really fascinating and apart from that, Iranian designers seem to be really cool people too!
Having moved back to Iran after nearly five years, my first ever impression about Tabiat Bridge was amazement! It’s the largest pedestrian overpass in Iran designed by a 25 year old Iranian woman who has won several awards, including the Popular Choice Prize for Highways & Bridges from the Architizer A+ Awards, a global architectural competition whose headquarters is based in New York.
Thinking about all the dreams the architect must have had, the freedom she had given herself to create such an ambitious and nearly impossible structure, had no other result than admiration combined with the wow factor we were taught at university. The spaces in different elevations of the bridge are playful, they create ambience, with lighting arrangements so colorful and random that makes it obvious that the architect had set the bar really high. Daytime and nighttime are both my favorite landscapes but just after the sunset is the best time to enjoy a walk on this bridge. Let it get dark and you will see how the spaces are developed to give you an overall impression about Tehran. You can expect numerous lights below your feet, cars moving in long queues waiting for their turn to speed up, the wind blowing at you , twilight blues and maybe a young man playing his guitar in the background somewhere on the bridge. You may also see people with strollers, kids running after each other, and if you are lucky, a stranger passing with a smile or even smell the scent of freshly made Pizza from the restaurants below. Both summer and winter are beautiful seasons to be on this bridge. Early morning is the best time for a good run and late night a great option for mingling with friends over a plate of pasta or non alcoholic drinks . The series of restaurants are at the lowest elevation and are open until midnight. You have a big variety of options from Iranian, to Italian, Turkish and American Cuisine.
It is impossible not to enjoy the livelihood of Urban Iranian life on Tabiat bridge so if you happen to visit Tehran one day, give yourself a treat ; Just book a one way taxi to the entrance of Tabiat bridge at Shahidi street and enjoy the unexpected; even though having read this article, it is no longer going to be as much surprising. I hope this article has boosted your motivation to walk into the unknown. Sometimes the unknown is just a moment on a bridge over a vast highway in the heart of the middle east.
* Written by Elnaz Yasamin.
|Official Website: N/A||Entrance fee: Free|
|Wikipedia: Click here||Name(s) in Persian: پل طبیعت|
|UNESCO Website: N/A||Public transportation availability: Yes|
|Province: Tehran|| Accommodation availability:Yes|
|Phone: N/A||Facilities: Yes|
|Working days: All days||Restaurant & Cafe availability: Yes|
|Opening hours: 6:00 AM-00:30 PM||Best time to visit: All Seasons|