Milad Project Phase II Still in Limbo

The winning design proposed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was dropped earlier this year.The winning design proposed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was dropped earlier this year.

Implementation of the second phase of Milad Project is marked by delays due to the failure to chalk out a suitable plan so far, after the winning design proposed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was dropped. The proposed budget for the project has also not been allocated.

Milad Project phase II includes a world trade center (120,000 sq m), a five-star twin tower hotel (63,000 sq. m), commercial complex and a parking lot for 5,000 cars (170,000 sq m), which were to be constructed next to the iconic Milad Tower.

The multi-purpose Milad Tower is the sixth tallest tower and the 17th tallest freestanding structure in the world, standing 435 meters high from base to the tip of the antenna. The tower tapers up to a pod with 12 floors. The pod is home to an observation deck, a revolving restaurant, a ‘sky dome’ and various TV, radio and traffic control functions.

An international architecture contest was held in Tehran in 2012 to select the project design for phase II and 130 domestic and foreign companies submitted their proposals. The design proposed by the Zaha Hadid Architects Company based in the UK, was selected winner and Mehrafarin Company, the project contractor, started excavation operations for the new phase.    

However, repeated criticism over the un-Islamic design as well as unsafe height of the structures by members of the Tehran City Council (TCC), led to the design being shelved. Another issue, the councilors pointed out, was that Milad Tower’s distinguished view of the capital’s landscape would be marred by the proposed skyscrapers.

Eqbal Shakeri, head of the TCC Civil Committee in an interview with the state-owned Persian language ‘Iran’ newspaper earlier this year had said, “Before the start of the new Iranian year (March 20), the necessary permits for construction of the towers were obtained from the council’s Article 5 Commission after revisions were made to the height of the planned tower.”

Shakeri had also said that five other proposals had also been approved for the project.

But so far Tehran urban authorities have failed to come up with a suitable alternative for the project execution as well as its funding.  

  Blame Game

Mohammad Mehdi Tondguyan, deputy head of the TCC architecture and urban development commission, said the plan was delayed by Mehdi Chamran who heads the TCC, for “personal reasons.”

Noting that the excavated abandoned land poses a risk to the tower, he hoped that a new plan would be approved as soon as possible, Khabaronline reported.

Tondguyan also criticized the Tehran Municipality for not involving the private sector in the project. “Lack of funds is another obstacle to starting the project, and therefore the crucial need for private investors.”

He lamented that the municipality had failed to create sustainable sources of income for urban projects.




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