The economy of Mahallat, Iran is driven by the stone-cutting industry, which accounts for nearly half the city's economic activity. As with most heavy industries, there are significant environmental effects; in this case, it's stone waste that doesn't get used. Tehran-based practice Architecture by Collective Terrain makes intelligent use of the scrap stone with Apartment No. 1, a contemporary mixed-use building in downtown Mahallat. The building features eight 3-bedroom apartments set atop a street-level retail space, all built using stone waste collected from mines around the region.
The stones not only make use of materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, but also provide thermal mass to slow the transfer of heat into the building during the day. Meanwhile, shading devices help control sunlight and heat gain, and angled facades near the windows control the amount of daylight that enters the interior.
The project, completed in 2010, is influencing local builders to make use of the readily available recycled stone. Archiecture competition panelists are taking note as well--Apartment No. 1 has recently been added to the shortlist for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.