Hadi Teherani, an enthusiastic resident of Hamburg by choice for nearly 60 years now, is being honoured as an outstanding architect, product designer, holistic innovator and cultural mediator with the German Federal Cross of Merit. The Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, presented the distinction on 9 December in a ceremony held at the Rathaus, Hamburg’s city hall. As justification for this esteemed decoration, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, states:
“Time and again, projects by Hadi Teherani reflect an inspiration and complexity which frequently have their origins in Iran, his birthplace. These factors, together with the characteristic cultural features of respective project locations, allow him to create something new, out of the ordinary, and yet still achieve popularity thereby. His role as ‘cultural mediator’, perhaps even as role model for integration, holds great significance, particularly at the present time. Not least of all, a staff of men and women from 15 nations work at his offices in Hamburg.
As his working career began, Hadi Teherani readily built structures that made their mark on the urban landscape, especially in Hamburg. They include the ‘Berliner Bogen’, the dancing towers of the ‘Tanzende Türme’, ‘Dockland’, or the design for the metro stations on the new U5 line. In Cologne he equally created an internationally acknowledged landmark that characterises the cityscape, the ‘Kranhäuser’ crane houses. Numbered among the metropolises where his work is both recognised and in demand are Abu Dhabi, with the largest university in the Near East, Berlin, Dubai, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Rome, Tehran and Tokyo.
The draft designs by Hadi Teherani that have been effected are bold, radical, urbane, sustainable, and unique within the synthesis of dimensions from urban construction to product design. Through his own product design ranging from furniture to flooring, Hadi Teherani goes far beyond the realm of architecture to reach an overall experience atmospherically designed down to the last detail. Dynamic shapes, expressive elements and a simultaneously minimalistic restraint are, in this sense, solely elements of his work that make their impact from the outside.
More important to Hadi Teherani for quite some time now are the renewable energies he integrated into buildings at a pioneeringly early stage. In that same vein he founded the firm Hadi Teherani Solar. The long-distance railway station at Frankfurt Airport was the first ‘warm’ railway station in Europe, and consequently the first not dependent on weather all the way to the tracks. His commitment in the fields of architecture and design along with the realisation of his ambitious and out-of-the-ordinary projects are owed to the joy in communication and mediation he has had from the very start, and one which always involved the urban public. Speaking in favour of this are his membership in the Iranian community, being a member of the Free Academy of the Arts in Hamburg since 1999, as well as the numerous popular names coined by big-city audiences for his structures.
In light of the extraordinary successes on the part of Mr Teherani in the areas of holistic design, sustainability, communication and creative industry that transcend the borders of specialised fields, he is being decorated with the Federal Cross of Merit.”
Photographer: Martin Hass