When we think of salt, we think of it as a seasoning. But for an Iranian restaurant group, salt was the main material for a new kind of eco-friendly building. The “Salt” Restaurant of Shiraz is located in the southern Iran, where the walls, tables and even the stairs were covered with a salty coating. To our surprise, this layer of salt helps clean the polluted air of the city.
Inspired by local and naturally occurring salt caves of the region, the group wanted to create a design that reflected the area’s distinctive salt mines and Marharloo salt lake of Shiraz. They stated, “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.
Historically, we know salt was valuable, even having been used as currency in old times. But in addition to promoting their unique idea of green building, the restaurant used locally relevant materials to revive the ancient idea that salt has healing powers: Salt suffers a bad reputation in gastronomy thanks to its overuse in most diets, meaning that most people are not aware of its astonishing healing powers. But in fact salt has been known as a powerful health remedy since ancient times, especially for respiratory health and detoxification.