Thursday Salute to Originals: Candy Communities

A cluster of colorful SuperAdobe structures dot the beaches of Hormuz Island

Along the beaches of Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf, the Tehran-based architectural firm ZAV Architects has constructed a cluster of dome-shaped homes in vibrant, candied colors that form a one-of-a-kind community living experiment titled “Presence in Hormuz.”

Each tiny hut is made entirely from earth materials, deploying the SuperAdobe process in construction — the signature of renowned Iranian architect Nader Khalili. Coils of long, wet bags filled with clay, sand, and other natural materials sourced from Hormuz Dock are carefully stacked to form the arcing dome structure.

Together, the community of colorful domes accommodates communal dining, laundry, and even designated “prayer zones” throughout.

“In a country where the state struggles with political disputes outside its borders, every architectural project becomes a proposal for internal governing alternatives, asking basic questions: What are the limits of architecture and how can it suggest a political alternative for communal life? How can it attain social agency?” said ZAV in a statement on This is Colossal.

More than a colorful decoration or tourist destination, this project aims to address local economic struggles with an alternative way of living that cultivates community — part of a broader series of architectural projects ZAV has deployed in the region.

This Thursday, we’re saluting ZAV Architects and the “Presence in Hormuz” project. Combining a sustainable art form with a community purpose, the architecture is rooted in a deep spirit of cultural meaning and purpose. You can learn more about ZAV Architects and their related projects on their website.

Sources: ZAV Architects, This is Colossal