Posted on March 14th, 2023 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Competitions

NADAAA is participating in the Chicago Come Home: Missing Middle Infill Housing Competition, organized by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Center. The intention of the competition is to build much-needed new housing stock in Chicago’s South and West Sides. An exhibition of the 42 submitted projects that range from single-family houses to six-unit buildings are now exhibited at the CAC and will be on view until March 26. Public feedback is welcomed both in person at the exhibition and online.


URBANISM: The doubling of plots sets up an opportunity to transform what would conventionally be two row-houses into multiple dwellings that creates a community within a single structure. HELIX2 achieves this by creating an inner court that is shared by all units, while each unit also gets its own separate terrace.

A TYPE TRANSFORMED: The proposed circulation of two traditional row-houses is merged into a double-helical staircase that accesses all units, one interior and another exterior, as the second means of egress. The row-houses are rotated perpendicular to the street, separated to form a court, with an exterior stair providing terraces for social interaction.

UNIT ‘TETRIS’ LOGIC: Most units are organized on two levels in a sectional L-configuration, creating a public/private level, or allowing a separate suite on another floor for the independence of an in-law/parental suite. While the units stack in a bespoke organization, all plumbing is stacked vertically to allow for flexible planning around units, should transformations be needed.

TECHNOLOGIES: While economy suggests wood-stud framing is the most economical for a single building, if multiple structures were considered on varied sites, mass timber, and modular systems allow for pre-fabrication and enhanced sustainable solutions. Veneer wood resin composite or fiber cement panels make for a flexible cladding rain screen envelope.

THE REAL ESTATE PROFORMA: An apples-to-apples comparison between a conventional double row-house and this proposal establishes a net-to-gross difference of 9500/900sqft of circulation for the row-house and 9500/840sqft for HELIX2, with the added advantage of a courtyard and multiple terraces.

Read more about the competition and initiative to build in Chicago’s South and West Sides via the Chicago Sun Times, Dwell, and Austin Weekly.



Posted on June 26th, 2019 by Dara Lin

Posted under: _Daniels Building, Competitions

The Daniels Building has been selected as a finalist in the Architizer A+ Awards for the Climate Change category, and has also received a special mention for the Architecture + Ceilings category. It is now a contestant for the two most sought-after awards: The Architizer A+ Jury Award and the Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award.

You can help choose the Popular Choice Award by voting HERE!


Daniels + Seoul Cinematheque to receive 2018 BSA Awards

Posted on September 12th, 2018 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _Daniels Building, Awards, Competitions

NADAAA’s design for the Daniels Building at The University of Toronto is receiving a 2018 Honor Award for Design Excellence and the Seoul Cinematheque is receiving a 2018 Unbuilt Architecture and Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects. The level of the awards will be announced at the BSA Gala event in January. See you there!

Comments Off on Daniels + Seoul Cinematheque to receive 2018 BSA Awards


Posted on April 13th, 2017 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Competitions

NADAAA is honored to have been selected among two other firms to work with the Telluride community over the next two months developing a concept design for the historic Telluride Transfer Warehouse which will serve as art gallery, studio, and community space.  The structure was built to serve the local mining industry in 1906, but has been roofless and deteriorating since 1978. Now, through the efforts of the Telluride Arts District, it will be restored and reactivated as part of a larger neighborhood development. The goal of the project is to host exhibitions and installations, lectures and events, public gatherings and artists-in-residence. For more on this project click HERE.

“Rare is the opportunity to both preserve an important historic landmark and create something wholly unprecedented.  The Transfer Warehouse stands as a monument to Telluride’s history of perseverance.  The fundamental challenge of the project will be to maintain the power of the ruin while sponsoring vision and opportunity through architectural speculation for the Arts District.” Katie Faulkner and Nader Tehrani, NADAAA


Northern Avenue Bridge, Vertical Scheme

Posted on June 14th, 2016 by Akash Godbole

Posted under: Competitions

Since 1908 the Northern Avenue Bridge has been heavily used by the Bostons public. Extensive corrosion of the original steel structure created the need for a replacement. The BSA together with the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh recently hosted an ideas competition to explore the future of the beloved bridge. The following is one of two ideas proposed by our office, this one taking the vertical approach. A big thanks to our team Arthur Chang and Nick Safely!


Flat Stanley Title-01

main image flat stanley-01

A city’s skyline is one of its most precious attributes, it defines an iconography, and figures a recognizable identity in the common imagination.  As Boston’s downtown core expands into the seaport district, a gap is forming along the north avenue bridge site as the city grows around it.  The Flat Stanley Storage structure leverages a large infrastructural building –housing boats, cars, bikes and basic harbor functions– to produce a continuity of form in the skyline of Boston, and provide mobility and programmatic amenities unique to the site. The project functions as an icon for and a gateway to the expanded downtown, linking the historic business district to South Boston.

While much like the children’s book character, the Flat Stanley uses its extreme proportions to accomplish what other, more rotund buildings are incapable of, capitalizes on its eccentricity for the production of a public a pedestrian walkway, and a legible civic figure.  Leasable high density parking, boat storage, and rentable bridge level retail provide the capital to fund and sustain the new pedestrian path.  In addition thin film organic photovoltaics cover the ample south facing façade, powering the automatic parking apparatus and providing the development with additional capital when net positive energy is sold to the grid.  The Flat Stanley synergizes several much needed infrastructures into a new icon for the skyline of Boston.

flat stanley images-01

Comments Off on Northern Avenue Bridge, Vertical Scheme

Northern Avenue Bridge, Horizontal Scheme

Posted on June 14th, 2016 by Akash Godbole

Posted under: Competitions

Since 1908 the Northern Avenue Bridge has been heavily used by the Bostons public. Extensive corrosion of the original steel structure created the need for a replacement. The BSA together with the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh recently hosted an ideas competition to explore the future of the beloved bridge. The following is one of two ideas proposed by our office, this one taking the horizontal approach. A big thanks to our team Arthur Chang and Thomas Tait!


over and out

Over and out main image-01

Traditionally, bridges have served to connect remote areas, as conduit; here is an opportunity to create a bridge as destination: a new center that connects the historic Boston Downtown with South Boston.  We reconnect the Greenway with the Seaport district for pedestrian and bicycle access. It is not merely a path, it is itself a new locus, with open space, and programs for all ages. With variegated green areas catering to different needs, an elevated vantage point that overlooks the harbor, a restaurant and cafe on its lower deck, the New Northern Ave Bridge becomes a place that draws, connects, and projects further into Seaport District.

Improving on the original bridge, boats and other water-born vehicles can pass underneath thanks to its generous arching from bank to bank. While the northwest tip of the distorted quadrant touches the Seaport Boulevard Bridge allowing pedestrian crossover, the southeast tip points upwards in an elegant gesture – a peak that once climbed allows an overlook over the waterfront, an urban mountain top everyone will want to scale.

The bridge surface shears and creates an opening in its center that extends out into the water in the bay. A cafe and restaurant, right at the water, make for an exclusive location for eating out or getting a drink. A water station serving small boats, kayaks and other small transport vehicles awaits whoever is ready to cut into the water.

The bridge surface is divided into 4 distinct areas. An open meadow for frisbee throwers, a playground for children, a bosque around a large weeping willow with seats for reading and a large seating landscape facing downtown for relaxing while looking at the skyline.

over and out images-01



Comments Off on Northern Avenue Bridge, Horizontal Scheme

Vote today for the best Northern Ave. Bridge idea!

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Competitions, Things We Like

The Boston Society of Architects in collaboration with The City of Boston issued an ideas competition last month to gather innovative ideas on the future of the aging Northern Ave. Bridge that links the Financial District to the Seaport District.

The results have been posted here and are open for voting!

Results will be revealed at a party this Wednesday at the BSA at 6pm — register for the event here.


Comments Off on Vote today for the best Northern Ave. Bridge idea!

Bamiyan Cultural Centre

Posted on March 11th, 2015 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Competitions

NADAAA kicked off the new year with a design submission for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre Design Competition (hosted by UNESCO in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan), which turned out to be one of the largest, most popular open competitions in history. Our participation continues NADAAA’s commitment  to build a dialogue between architecture and the landscape, to imagine sensible ways to introduce a contemporary building in a historic site –where preservation, heritage, and cultural propriety are central to the debate, and to engage with oft-neglected project conditions.

The project site is the famed Bamiyan Valley, once a key Buddhist site on the ancient Silk Road trading route that lost two colossal seventh-century statues of Buddha to Taliban militants in 2001. (See BBC video on the statues HERE.) Our scheme called for an embedded building within the ground, built of rammed earth, that speaks the common language of the broader site: that of excavation. The Centre never breaches the datum set at the site approach (elevation +2555.5), the same level of the neighboring infrastructural complex. This neighboring grid extends into the site and materializes as a single wall that ramps down to the edge of the site. The wall is a single stroke of visual retention– just short enough to graze the mountain tops of the panoramic view beyond;  the wall, then, also releases the panoramic view upon entry, framing the two monumental niches at either end. The space of the museum forms the cone of vision that captures the valley, the mountains, the carvings, and the absence of Buddhas. Carved outside of the cone of vision, the building expands into a poché zone of support spaces and a cluster of courtyards that organize various other programs.

bamiyan-merged downsaved part1bamiyan-merged downsaved part2bamiyan-merged downsaved part3bamiyan-merged downsaved part4

Comments Off on Bamiyan Cultural Centre

NADAAA wins BSA Unbuilt Award

Posted on August 26th, 2014 by Lisa LaCharité

Posted under: Awards, Competitions, Things We Like

NADAAA wins 2014  BSA Honor Award for Glasnevin Centenary Chapel. Below is a brief description of the project with some selected images. Please follow up shortly on our blog for more images and information on the project.


Our proposal for the Glasnevin Chapel hinges around several priorities that we believe are the cornerstones of its mission statement. First, we believe that this is to be a space of peaceful contemplation: a place where questions of life and death beyond religious denominations can be formed within a framework that is reflective of the solemnity of mourning. Second, we recognize that the site is composed of a landscape and urban context which contains significant monuments –both public and private– and that a scheme needs to operate within this spatial framework in a meaningful and responsive fashion. Third, the mission contains a programmatic brief that is highly specific, and our proposal has set out to respond to them not only in detailed ways, but also in ways that are inventive, transformative and reflective of the architectural ambitions of this competition. Finally, we recognized that the competition is located within a rich cultural context, and that our proposal will need to speak to the history of this heritage in ways that are as powerful as a commitment to looking at contemporary constraints and opportunities in construction culture. 











Comments Off on NADAAA wins BSA Unbuilt Award


Posted on January 6th, 2014 by Katie Faulkner

Posted under: Competitions

On January 2, NADAAA turned three years old, which seems as good a time as any to look back on 2013 and look forward to the New Year. While we never forget our legacy of Office dA, we annually set goals that surpass achievements and provide opportunity to expand our craft. Over the past year, the paramount objective remained to enable the designs to be built, with a close second being the expansion of our fabrication lab to both inform the design and support the first objective of GETTING IT BUILT. Thirdly, NADAAA continued to expand globally, with projects in Melbourne, Toronto, Villa Varoise. Tropez, and Kuwait. Closer to home, the office sought to more boldly occupy our Lower Roxbury address by renovating our storefront, as well as work with Urbanica toward the successful development of Melnea Cass’s Parcel 9. As a gift to both our peers and ourselves, we endeavored to invite the broader public to scheduled gallery shows as a way to inspire conversation and debate regarding the potential of Architecture. KuwaitHouse_SM

KUWAIT HOUSE: A complex residential organization, the result of nuanced mediation between public, private and services area.


1920 WASHINGTON ST: NADAAA facade opens up onto the street with eyes wide open.

Building the Parts and the Whole  Several projects were completed: Cornell Bridges, Beacon Street Residence, 57 East Concord, and SGH NY Office and Furniture. For Aesop USA, we delivered stores in East Hampton, Toronto, Venice Beach, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. This was the first year that we detailed, fabricated, and installed significant components of our design work, a trend that began with Aesop Toronto. During the last quarter of the year our team enjoyed the success of executing a full scale mock-up of a simple-to-install but complex-in-appearance gypsum ceiling – demonstrating to the Construction Manager the system’s feasibility, and resulting in a significant cost reduction of the sub consultant’s estimate.

Reaching Globally  Architecture has always been an international profession, made more possible than ever through digital platforms and teleconferencing. New opportunities were explored in Saudi Arabia, Basra, and Tehran, while ongoing work continued in France. Two competitions were entered: a tower for Parramatta, Australia; and a chapel in Ireland. Phase One of University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design broke ground in June; University of Melbourne Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning proved to be moving well ahead of schedule with substantial completion anticipated in 2014.


CORNELL BRIDGES: Safety mesh barriers work in tandem with structural configurations to form a new figure over the ravines in Ithaca. Photo by John Horner


CENTENARY CHAPEL: A concrete suspension structure forms the vault for the funerary space of mourning.

Working in the Neighborhood  We had mixed success in our own back yard. On the one hand there were multiple successful exhibits; we kicked off 2013 with PINNED UP, an exhibit demonstrating the developments of NADAAA’s work. In April, NADAAA introduced Drawing Surfaces: Computing and a Vintage Pen Plotter. The November show, Makers in the Making, featured the work of six MIT faculty who share a progressive stance toward their respective disciplines.

Becoming more involved in the urban design of our own city is a goal to carry forward. Watching much of the current Boston construction from the sidelines, we remain committed to proving that excellent design does not burden Project Costs. Like everyone else in town, we are watching the transformation of Dudley Square thanks in part to the renovated Ferdinand’s Building, and we remain confident that our block is not far behind. A small contribution will be the storefront development (the design for which is complete, provocative, and approved by the Washington Gateway Main Street) of our offices at 1920 Washington Street. A larger stake would be the commencement of Parcel 9, a mixed used development on Melnea Cass Boulevard featuring a hotel, housing, retail and underground parking.

Finally, the greatest achievement of 2013 remains the collective talent of NADAAA employees, who take the firm’s ambitions as their own, and somehow make possible the impossible. Their abilities, ingenuity, and hard work continue to amaze our clients as well and Nader, Dan, and me.

May all of you find as much joy in your work as we do in ours — Happy New Year from all of us at NADAAA.


PARRAMATTA: The Gemini Towers help to form a new skyline for Sydney, creating a new hybrid that engages the urbanism of the site.

PARCEL 9  DEVELOPMENT: Mixed-use block designed to create a public base with a residential and hotel mass above.