‘The Green Learning Room’, a prototype project submitted by Westminster Senior Lecturers Dr Nasser Golzari and Dr Yara Sharif of Golzari NG Architects, made the top 16 list of the National Custom & Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) Self Build on a Shoestring 2015 international design competition.

The challenge was to design an innovative 'self build' starter home that can be constructed for less than £40,000.

‘The Green Learning Room’ submitted by Golzari NG Architects is an idea that was initiated while working on affordable reconstruction schemes in the Middle East. The design idea offers a critical form of architectural and design thinking that can respond to the needs of the community and aim to enhance living conditions within a sustainable and affordable agenda.

Dr Nasser Golzari and Dr Yara Sharif, who have both been working in the Middle East over the past few years, commented on the design:

“Having the Green Learning Room selected and exhibited as one of the top 16 projects in the international competition for self built low cost building by NaCSBA is an acknowledgement of our socio-environmental  approach and indeed a great push for us to develop the self build design scheme further to its realisable stage.

“The Green Learning Room in its design and approach challenges the traditional way of making and thinking architecture, especially with its adaptability to different climates, cultural and socio political contexts. Its uniqueness stems from its ability to change its ‘skin’ to respond to the cultural and climatic needs of different locations between the UK and the Middle East – where it was originally designed for.”

The Self Build on a Shoestring 2016 design competition’s top 16 projects were exhibited at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham.

Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif are both principle partners at Golzari NG Architects in London, working with both the private and public sector on a number of projects nationally and internationally. Some of these projects have been nominated for the Civic Trust Award and more recently the regeneration of the Historic centre at Bierzeit, on which Dr Golzari and Dr Sharif  were consultants, and won the prestigious 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2013.

Find out more about Nasser Golzari's prestigious academic and editorial posts, research and project work.

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