NADAAA is an architectural firm located in Boston, headed by Nader Tehrani and in collaboration with Katherine Faulkner and Daniel Gallagher. Their design services range from furniture art installations to high-rise, urban-scale projects. They have global recognition and type up with international architectural firms to design structures all around the world. 

The architectural expression of NADAAA is based on advancing construction and green development. The principal architect has spent twenty-five years in design research and is well recognized and awarded. Few of the awards Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, The American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, Harleston Parker Award, Hobson Award, numerous national AIA Awards, 5 American Architecture Awards, 18 Progressive Architecture Awards. He also heads the  Architecture department at MIT. 

The firm’s art exhibits have been put up in the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and LA MoCA. The firm has also been consecutively ranked as the top architecture firm in the Architect Magazine top 50 lists.

Here are 15 Projects by NADAAA, Inc.:

1. New Hampshire Retreat | NADAAA

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The patios,rooms having ecstatic views ©

Location: Bethlehem, NH, United States
Project status: In progress
Type of work: Residential

The New Hampshire Retreat is like eloquent poetry, an intricate concept with a simple structural essence. It serves as a retreat for the scholars of a biomedical research group. Inspired by the MacDowell colony, the retreat offers a fellowship along with a scenic retrospection. 

The main concept of this beauty is to capture the ecstatic views of the presidential range in the White mountains. These views have been panoramically captured by the orthogonal positioning of the various rooms and ancillary spaces pivoting around an elliptical courtyard; these rectilinear rooms do not share common walls and hence create small private patios in between. 

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The plan ©

The structural simplicity is obtained by the rectilinear spaces while the ellipse brings in harmony to the entire from. The most captivating aspect is the entrance, a flight of stairs reaching to the roof creating a structural vault that serves as an entrance to this blissful architectural expression. 

Climate responsive additions like overhangs, triple-glazed windows, stout thermal mass, and the dialogue between joined and disjointed parts bring in a sense of thought. The reflection of the local forest is achieved by the extensive use of white-cedar slats. The wood-stud exterior framing is independent of the individual fabricated interior units. 

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The courtyard ©
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The vaulted entrance ©

2. Villa Varoise

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The romboidal villa varoise ©

Location: Southern France
Project status: built
Type of work: Residential

The Villa Varoise is an ingenious concept realized over 7 years by Ar Nader Tehrani, the principal architect of NADAAA. The culmination of thought began around the native concept of a courtyard and then grew into a convoluted intersection of form. It is a 5,300 sqft family holiday retreat sitting on a sloped terrain amidst the Mediterranean. 

The idea was to create a space that was inward and private while enjoying the scenic views of the existing context. Ar. Tehrani strategically submerged a portion of the structure below ground to respond to the terrain as well as create a sense of privacy from neighbors. 

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Steps to the submerged portion ©
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The living area facing the pool ©

It is a rhomboidal plan where the to L’s sit at different levels, intersecting at a junction to create a monumental vault that houses a connection between the levels. On the ground level, a north-facing entrance with an office and master bedroom, the west wing consists of the living and dining spaces overlooking the southeast courtyard with a pool. 

The lower level consists of family dorms and some common areas, all of which open into the vast green patios. The entire structure is conceived in raw concrete with a subtle orange tint to match the earthy context.

3. Banq Restaurant 

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The banq ©

Location: Washington Street, Boston
Project status: completed (2008)
Type of work: Commercial- restaurant (4800sqft)

Banq is located within the old Penny Savings Bank of Boston. It is an interesting culmination of design, inheriting the structural aspects while adding on a seamless blanket of wooden-slatted systems to conceal the structural and mechanical elements while creating a large canopy to dine under. The peculiarity of the existing space provides a flexible seating arrangement. The wooden slats create an undulating rhythm. 

The entire canopy sits on concealed columns and the wine cellar in between the hall serves as a monumental trunk holding the entire canopy upright. The space is segmented, the portion facing Washington street is a bar while the other portion is the dining hall. 

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Cross section of wooden slats ©
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The assembly of wooden slats ©

4. Zhulang Huagai

Location: Shenzhen, China
Project status: completed (2017)
Type of work: Urban design, art installation   

This installation was a result of the ‘biennale’. The urban villages of Shenzhen consist of multiple historic cores which slowly seem to be crumblings to urbanization and hence, losing their sense of space and vulnerability. 

Therefore, this art expression is to embrace the sense of space and place-making. It’s a tube-steeled framework with a fabric tensile covering. It’s been used for multiple gatherings, flea market, parking, etc.

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Art installation ©
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Multi functional space ©

5. Helios House | NADAAA

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The gas station ©

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Project status: completed (2007)
Type of work: Commercial

A regular gas station in the city of Los Angeles revamped with a sustainable consciousness, bringing in a paradox to the idea of gas stations. The ground, cash kiosk, canopy, the back building, signages were all integrated into a seamless mass of triangulated stainless steel panels. 

The various sustainable techniques included: solar panels on the canopy’s roof, energy-efficient light, and sensors, a green roof consisting of native plants, underground water cistern for collecting surface run-offs which were then filtered and used to irrigate the plants. The construction involved the use of prefabricated, 100% recycled stainless steel panels which not only reduced the material cost but labor cost as well.

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The triangulated facade ©

6. Risd Fleet Library

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The barrel vaulted central space ©

Location: Rhode Island School of design, Westminster Street, USA
Project status: completed (2006)
Type of work: Library (Institutional)

The focus of the project was to make room for study areas, storage racks, a reading room and a circulation island within the historical banking building converted into a library. Two pavilions were designed to be integrated into the middle of the hallway under the barrel-vaulted roof. These additions seemed like colossal pieces of furniture but with a maximum sense of functionality. Every surface is used efficiently. 

One of the pavilions has a series of stepped seating which also serves as a connector to the mezzanine with study rooms below. Overall this project has been conceived on three strategies: intervention, preservation, and complex engineering. 

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Addition of two new pavilions ©
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The study pods ©

7. Melbourne School of Design

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Sectional view of the institution ©

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Project status: completed (2014)
Type of work: Institution design

It was a pitch by NADAA for an international architectural competition in the year 2009. The brief was to design an architectural block within the historic Parkville Campus of Melbourne. The approach was to prioritize four specific strategies: “ academic environment”, “suspended studio”, “living building”, “built pedagogy”. There has been a sudden urge for online learning, technological advancement in teaching, these have to be looked into from a design perspective. 

Hence, the four strategies cater to immediate urges and the futuristic vision of pedagogy. The interesting feature of this building is the coffered ceiling bringing in a lot of natural light while the zinc plates prevent glare. The entire concept of learning is enhanced by the materialistic approach to space and architecture.

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Elevation ©
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Internal treatment ©

8. WCZ Hoevenzavel Senior Center

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The central courtyard ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The central courtyard ©

Location: Belgium
Project status: unknown
Type of work: Institutional facility

This is a landmark project that addresses the rising issues surrounding the elder generation of our time. There has always been social tension regarding senior care, though in recent times people have a better approach to it and look at it as a necessity. 

In terms of design, Ar. Tahrani’s approach was to diversify the functionality of the institution to cater to a wide range of individuals. The solution was to create an identity, bring in a contextual aspect into the built environment to escape the feeling of an institution. 

The majority of the rooms are south-facing with two courtyards strategically placed in between. Some rooms had a direct connection to these courtyards, while others had semi-private terraces. Certain rooms were having a direct connection to the living and common spaces which catered to a social set of individuals while others were remotely private for those who enjoyed the solitude. 

There were different architectural scales within the project, like large open courtyards and terraces for gatherings, small scale inglenooks for reading and leisure, and the connecting corridors had internet and few seating spaces where individuals could write emails, have tea, or even just sit and watch people walk by. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The plan ©</span>
The plan ©
The internal streets-corridors ©
The internal streets-corridors ©

9. Tanderrum Bridge  

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The bridge ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The bridge ©

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Project status: completed (2016)
Type of work: Urban design

The Tanderrum bridge, a meta-architecture concept has been designed to develop a physical connection between Queen Victoria Gardens and Rod Laver Arena Complex. This integration contributes in several ways: it creates a gateway for the city to pass under, creates a civic experience for the people going to the Australian Open held at the Melbourne park, and also creates a vantage for the public realm of Melbourne

The bridge runs cordially to the existing axis of the street while there is a slight deviation, creating vantage at the historic speaker’s corner. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The vantage at speaker's corner ©</span>
The vantage at speaker’s corner ©
The plan ©
The plan ©

10. The Beacon | NADAAA

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The beacon ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The beacon ©

Location: 515 Euclid ave. Cleveland
Project status: completed (2019)
Type of work: Mixed-use

The project is a high-rise structure built on an existing 8-floor retail and parking garage. The structure rises to 29 floors with the penthouse consisting of party space, roof patio, and a chef’s kitchen. Up until the 19th floor, it is single/double bedroom condos. The last level consists of deluxe spaces with skyline terraces. To make this a landmark structure of Cleveland there is a halo of lighting around the edge of the terrace. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The condos on the upper floors ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The condos on the upper floors ©

11. Rock Creek house | NADAAA

Location: Washington DC
Project status: completed (2015)
Type of work: Residential 

This project is an adaptive re-use structure. Originally the house had two floors, a mechanical basement, and an attic. The new design doubled the size of the house and incorporated the landscape into the built form. The northern facade was pretty much retained. 

While the southern facade, facing rock creek was revamped with glazing additions and informal open spaces connecting the surrounding landscape. There is a transformation seen from the north to the south facade in terms of material and design. 

Exterior walls start as a solid brick wall in the north to more open glazing systems in the south. Interior walls are brick cladding with wooden laminates echoing the same transition. Multi-level spaces have been incorporated in the living at the entry-level and attic level, which makes the entire space seamless. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The south elevation facing rock creek ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The south elevation facing rock creek ©
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Internal treatment ©</span>
Internal treatment ©
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The north elevation retained ©</span>
The north elevation retained ©

12. Chinatown loft residential renovation 

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Project status: completed
Type of work: Residential 

Originally this was a storage room for generators and backup batteries in case of power failure in Boston in the year 1917. Therefore there was no intention of converting this space into a residential loft. The new design concept had to be strategically thought through as the existing building was very deep in dimension and bringing in natural light and breeze was a challenge. 

Architects of NADAAA came up with a design solution of incorporating the ends of the building with living, dining, and bedrooms while the central core was stacked with the ancillary additions for storage and other facilities where artificial lighting could do the job. This strategy pushed the living to the north while the bedrooms were in the south. The entrance hall served as a transitional connection between these two extremes. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The living ©</span>
The living ©
Bedroom ©
Bedroom ©

13. Qatar Foundation, Education city visitors center 

Location: Qatar
Project status: competition
Type of work: Urban design  

The aim was to create a visitor’s experience centre to express the new aim of the Qatar Foundation, which was to shift the focus of a hydro-carbon export economy to a knowledge-based system of education, research, and community development

The design incorporates a rotunda with multiple gallery exhibits within, the space looks outwards into the landscape as well as inwards into the practical exhibition spaces. This concentric design involves robust technology and rotating walls to provide maximum space for display.  

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The visitor's center ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
The visitor’s center ©
Plan ©
Plan ©
The internal levels ©
The internal levels ©
Green treatment of facade ©
Green treatment of facade ©

14. Liquid Archive MIT 150

Location: MIT Campus
Project status: completed
Type of work: Urban design, art installation   

It was an art installation on the bank of river Charles to commemorate the 150 years of the MIT Campus as well as celebrate the mark of the first Architectural college in the United States. This was done by NADAA in collaboration with Gediminas Urbonas. This served multiple uses; a screen, a logo, a light structure, and skyline. 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">The installation at river charles ©</span>
The installation at river charles ©

15. Newton’s House | NADAAA

Location: Suburban Boston
Project status: completed (2010)
Type of work: Residential   

This house served as a family union space for a couple’s kids and grandchildren. The existing structure had an addition in terms of design. The new pool pavilion had a patio, open kitchen along with an informal living. 

The entire concept was to intervene in the existing landscape into the built form. The open kitchen has an entire facade of glazing which spills out into the patios and extends into the landscape.  

<span style="font-weight: 400;">Front elevation ©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
Front elevation ©
Extended patio ©
Extended patio ©
Internal kitchen with framed view ©
Internal kitchen with framed view ©



A recent Architectural graduate who believes that words are a virtual expression of form. Never been a book fanatic but developed a passion for writing through the course of architecture. She believes that a structure can be nurtured to perspective by the words that describe it.