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m. tashakori Portfolio 2013


Pennsylvania State University [State College, PA] 2010 - 2012 - Master of Architecture – Digital Design Final project: Design of a computer controlled interactive façade system University of Tehran [Tehran, Iran] - Bachelor of Arts in Architecture

2003 – 2008


Ajalli Architects - Falls Church, VA [Project Designer & Revit Specialist]

Dec 2012 to Present

Design development and construction documentation for Residential design and Medical office construction and remodeling Raheminejad Architects, Tehran, Iran [Junior Designer]

May 2008 to Aug 2010

Design development, 3D modeling and rendering for residential and commercial complex projects - Detailing and visual presentation for Interior design projects.

Design Skills


Other Skills

Computer Adobe Photoshop Adobe InDesign Microsoft Office Suite [Word, Excel, Powerpoint] Language English [fluent] French [conversant] Spanish [basic proficiency] Persian [native language] Others - Freehand drawing and sketching


Green associate

Autodesk Revit Architecture Rhinoceros (GrassHopper) Auto CAD Ecotect Analysis


Google Sketchup 3D Studio Max Vray Rendering Vasari Proejct

Peykade Consulting Engineers, Tehran, Iran [Part time Intern]

June 2005 – May 2008

Schematic drafting and design development for residential buildings, transportation projects and interior restoration projects.

5014 3rd st. washington dc 20011 [814] 954-2214

May 2011




August 2013










May 2011

May 2011

May 2011

May 2011

May 2011


July 2013

April 2011

April 2011

April 2011

April 2011

June 2012

Academic Portfolio Pennsylvania State University 2010-2012

Solar-tracking Building Envelope Spring 2012 Thesis Study

The study on the responsive facade systems developed into the thesis proposal for a sun-tracking building envelope that explores integrating computer-controlled sun-tracking devices into a double-layered facade system. The parametric computer model is produced in Rhinoceros by Grasshopper. The light studies are implemented using Geco that integrates Ecotect information in Grasshopper platform. The system consists of circular PV panels tracking sun three dimensionally. Several rotation and tilt mechanisms were explored to facilitate a smooth comprehensive sun-tracking. Two of the mechanisms realized into full size mock-ups are show cased here.

5Grasshopper code and its corresponding model determining the position of the sun at each hour and date

To create a flexible three dimensional tilting PV panel, a model was made holding a panel in the center with four steel springs. The panel is fixed at 20 degrees vertical since the sun path is always below a certain level. To control the motion of the panel, plastic strings pull four points of the panel. The strings are directed to the servo through two different reels. By actutating each of four servos the panel tilts to four directions. To ideally control the panel a combination of two or three servos should be actuated at the same time. To sense the sun light, simple photo sensors are integrated with an Arduino (micro processor) that controls servos. The codes for servo rotation and analog data are taken from open source Arduino codes and is customized for the project. With further development of the thesis model the lighttracking model was improved into a better tilting system of motor actuated panel to acheive a more smooth rotation. In the imrpoved model two servos work in combination for vertical and horizontal tilt. This model reduces the amount of obstruction in the window frame and requires less energy for the tilts. The resulting angles are also more accurate. Four photo sensors are installed at 90 degrees of each other at the edges of the panel. The Arduino code is programmed so that which ever photo sensor receives more light the panel tilts in its direction. The light can have either solar or artificial source for research purposes.

Physical model of the sun-tracking system5 3Sun study


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Blooming Facade System

Blooming solar flaps if covered with indicidual PV cells wouldcan store solar energy. Thermal sensors can also be connected to the building management system to control the blooming of the panels based on the solar angle in different time and climate. The stored solar energy would run the motor that opens up the panels. Arduino would be an easy to use micro processor to gather the environmental data from heat or photo censors. The computational processing of the environmental condition of the envelope would enhance the performance of the system. The blooming solar system would interact with its surroundings with higher accuracy in a more effective manner.

Spring 2011 Facade Systems

The Idea is to design a system of solar shading modules performing as a double layered envelope for buildings in arid climate of Iran. This system can be mounted on existing mullions of glazings or be built from scratch as a double layered faรงade. Blooming flaps of the hexagonal shape would shade the interior spaces in response to the sun rays. The main mechanical advantage of the system is in its non motor based actuation. Solar panels are actuated by SMA wires. Shape Memory Alloy shrinks when heated. Wires are designed to pull the panels out. They are also modeled with the ability to be equipped with heat censors and micro processors.


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Zero-Energy House 6Vasari model on the Google street view

Fall 2012 Environmentally Conscious Design

6Vasari model and wind rose study

Vasari Results

6Daylight study in Ecotect for bedrooms

Electricity EUI: 7 kWh/sf/yr Fuel EUI: 4 kWh/sf/yr Total EUI: 27 kWh/sf/yr

6Ecotect zonings

Low Energy Use Intensity is a result of maximum south facing surface, minimum volume inside and proper HVAC system. 5Cross section showing the sun light penetration

6Annual Resource Consumption

6Sun light penetration in winter solistice

[Concept] Cozy House in winter

6Shading effect in summer solistice


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

• • • • • • •

Winter sun penetrates all living spaces The form has maximum south facing surfaces and minimum volume South façade is mostly glazed and angled to let more sun inside South façade and south facing roof can be used for using PV cells Storage and secondary spaces work as barriers in west sides Thick super insulated walls help keeping the masses warm in winter Kitchen and living area are design open to provide maximum flexibility

Ecotect Results • • • •

Annual Resource Consumption 16 kBtu/sf [below 2030 goal] Potential PV power output 26 kWh/yr Calculated household power demand 14 kWh/yr Grid Feed-in potential 12 kWh/yr Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Mt. Nittany Elementary School Team Creative.logic Architecture Mahzad Tashakori Landscape Architecture Laurie Donnachie Structural Engineer Josh Progar Mechanical Engineer Josh Wentz Lighting/Electrical Engineer Asher Harder Construction Manager Patrick Laninger

Spring 2011 BIM Stuido

BIM studio is an exceptional multi-disciplinary studio project in PennState that involves teams of students from architecture and architectural engineering department. The main goal is to practice cross discipline coordination through using BIM technologies such as Revit suite. Design of daylighted, vibrant and comfortable spaces for children interactions needed remarkable work on design integration with structure, mechanical systems, lighting design and cost management. The final product of the team is within budget limits, energy efficient, strongly tied with the landscape and visually engaging.

Northern playground4

Integrated Project Delivery

The project started with my schematic design and moved through each discipline’s filter to reach to the design development phase. The school is designed with regards to energy efficient strategies to meet LEED Platinum. Energy efficiency has not stopped the building from looking innovative. Its colorful structural fins and the curved shape resembles a playful xylophone.


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


The classrooms are the elements a school building is formed around. Providing appropriate space, easy access for children, uniform daylight as well as an engaging space is of significant importance. In this design classes are designed along northern and southern wings of the building to supply enough daylight. The proportion of the classroom rectangle was optimized to provide sufficient daylight depth and provide optimum total length in the building. The orientation of the classes enabled the designer to create an activity (playing and story telling) area in front and study area and teacher area in the back, further from the possible noise from recess grounds outside. The ceilings are perforated in a way to accomodate artificial lights and also expose structural and mechanical elements for educational purposes. The lightshelves and openings towards the atrium improve the light levels and ventilation inside. 9

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Academic Portfolio University of Tehran 2002-2010

Music Center

Commercial Tower

Tehran, Iran Spring 2009

6Formic resemblance to musical waves

The tower is separated into two blocks to let more daylight in and provide more space inside such densely occupied building. The 43 story office building uses two frames of tubular space-frames. Floors above the ground are suspended from the main frames using large cables instead of conventional columns. This method provided larger clear spans for open office spaces. The frames are separated by a two meter seismic joint although interior spaces are continuous. 12 floors underground accommodate 2,600 parking spaces with 4 separate ramps and two car elevators. First three floors are designated to restaurants, retailers and convention halls. Mechanical facilities are located in the middle of the building on 15th floor for optimum piping and less energy loss.


Each of the three performance halls in this building is designed based on the acoustic requirements of the music played there. The conceptual design is influenced by the abstract concepts of sound waves. Primary sketches are based on three independent sound source representing each hall. The free form and smooth surfaces represent the flexibility and rhythm of the Iranian music in conjunction with fixed structures. Arching tubes work as exterior structual frames holding the shells that enclose the whole building.

Monophonic and Polyphonic Music Graphs5

Balance in nature and music5

Three individual sound sources form the halls5

First Floor Plan5

Tehran, Iran Fall 2008

Site Plan5

6Bird View Cross Section5

Street view 6

5Specification of

the elevation layout

5Bird View Entrance View 6

3Natural air ventilation and light infiltration through void Continuous green space from park to street 6

Site Plan 5


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Art Media Center

8 Edens Shopping Mall Boroujerd, Iran Fall 2008 - Teamwork design / Raheminejad Architects

Tehran, Iran Summer 2008

The wavy form of this design is influenced by the dynamism and changing nature of media. Two continuous strips are swept and rised up from one side to the other.

5Entrance View

5Brick Assembly

The form is consistent with natural elements of the site and therefore, can be used as an urban monument. The main entrance is formed by a transparent link between two strips. Digital library and the lecture hall are under one strip and circular theater, the museum and coffee shops are under the other one. Bricks, a symbol of traditional structures are used in this design using a unique technology. Large precast bricks are reinforced together by post tensioned cable. Insulating layers under the brick surface, control the heat flow and fill in the gaps between bricks.

5Open-air Amphitheater

5Wall Section

This complex located in a cold region in West of Iran has an introvert design with very few exterior openings. Lighting is provided through a glass roof over the centeral atrium. Form of the glazing is inspired by an adjacent river. The roof structure is stabilized over a steel trussed arch. Retail units are designed peripheral and linked together with the corridors. The corridors embrace the central atrium. The central atrium provides light, ventilation and visual contact between different floors.

6Street View

6Cross Section

6First floor plan

6Section A-A

6Section View

First Floor Plan5


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Azimieh Commercial Complex Karaj, Iran

Residential Complex Tehran, Iran - Elahieh Neighborhood Spring 2007

Winter 2007 - Teamwork design / Award Winner

This residential complex located at Elahieh neighborhood in Tehran provides housing to about 200 people in units with one, two and three bedrooms covering a total area of 4,000 square meters. The 72 units are designed in 10 blocks and an entertainment facility. Due to the ground slope, a big challenge was to design the vertical access, mechanical facilities and to provide enough parkings.

5Public circulation inspired by Bazar model and the urben texture

5Different Living Zones Sun and Wind Exposure

5Indirect View 5Continuous rise

6Interior View

6Bird View

This design was implemented for a conceptual architecture contest in Iran. The main objective was to provide an innovative concept that accomodate various retail/commercial functions within the size and construction restrictions of the urban area. The construction site is a 20,000 square meters land surrounded by residential buildings adjacent to a road and a river. The main circulation axis is inspired by Iranian Bazar layout and openings. The layout brings in more daylight and creates additional social spaces inside the complex.

6Section D-D

5Iranian Bazaar

5Z Form Characteristics


3J Block Plan, Two Bedrooms

4B Block Plan, Two Bedrooms

5Thrid floor plan

6Longitudinal Section


5Court yard 14

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Career Portfolio Ajalli Architects 2012-2013


For the low-income multi family residential project in NE Washington DC the 3 storey 3 bedroom 3 bathroom apartments are designed in three types. 3 varieties of apartment layouts offer choices to future home buyers, with the following details:

50th ST NE Apartments May 2013 . Washington DC Ajalli Architects PLLC

A. Master bedroom on the third floor allows for a large luxury bathroom and TV stand. B. Children bedrooms on upper level is preferred by parents as they have more control over their household. C. Smaller bedrooms allow room for a private area with study room and a den.


Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen, utility room, washer/dryer closet and several storage rooms. Apartments have their own front yard and private entrance and also a covered parking garage in the gated back lot.

Š Ajalli Architects






Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


McKee Ave Residence June 2013 . Toronto, Canada Ajalli Architects PLLC I was involved in the McKee single family house design as the assistant project designer and also as the Revit specialist initiating the first design project in Ajalli Architects fully performed in Revit Architecture. The challenge was to familiarize the office with the potentials of the new platform while keeping the progress at speed. Collaboration with out of office engineers who used mainly AutoCAD also proved to be time consuming. Advantages of using Revit in information modeling and producing construction schedules and detailing made this application worthwhile. The design started by following strict zoning guidelines set by the city of Toronto determining the set backs, building foot print percentage, height and number of storeies for single family housing. The client specially asked for a multi purpose basement space, an island style kitchen and a second hidden kitchen for heavy cooking, 3 bedrooms for children and one guest/baby sitter suite , multi pitched roof and a mix of brick and stone front elevation. The construction will start as soon as the permit is issued in Toronto.


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013

First Floor Plan

Š Ajalli Architects

Mahzad Tashakori - 2013


Hand Sketches 2002-2005

mahzad. net [814] 954 - 2214


Mahzad Tashakori - 2013