Salt is undoubtedly one of the most basic condiments that can add a lot of flavor to your food. Emtiaz Designing Group, however, found a way for something basic to look amazing by making a new kind of eco building.
The Salt Restaurant in Shiraz, near southern Iran, is an architectural wonder that is completely covered in salt—everything from the walls, tables, and even the stairs are covered with the condiment (although, hopefully not too much on the food).
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What is even more amazing about the structure other than its distinctive look, which was inspired by the naturally occurring salt caves in the region, is the fact that the layers of salt helps in the cleanup of polluted air in the city.
Emtiaz’s design is reflective of the salt mines and Marharloo salt lake of Shiraz, with salt sourced from the mines nearby and mixed with natural gum to harden it and prevent it from being washed away by rain. Salt powder and rock were also used to make most of the surfaces that curve and sweep to mimic the caves’ designs.
The project’s development began with research for layers and types of salt mines. Then they extracted whole rock salts and salt mines that were processed accordingly. As an added bonding material, builders also added white mineral resin.
The company explained, “In this particular case, the walls, structural sculptures, and ceilings are made from salt sourced from the nearby salt mines and salt lake of Shiraz, which was mixed with natural gum to harden it.
“Salt is a natural disinfectant and the ions it releases also purify and filter the air, making it the perfect material for a restaurant.”
To ensure the eco-friendly status of the restaurant, even the furniture were made with recycled soda cans, from the quircy chairs and stair treads all the way up to the second floor.
The company’s attempt at green building does not benefit only the environment but their local economy as well by using local materials. However, they also aim more than that: they are trying to revive the idea that salt has healing properties.
Yes, despite its bad rep in gastronomy, salt has been known in the ancient times to have powerful health benefits, especially when it comes to respiratory health and detoxification, the foundation of overall health.
Its flowing form and clever use of materials for the restaurant is a great interpretation of Emtiaz Designing Group, and it has been appreciated by visitors, not only for its architectural creativity, but also for their health benefits.