The Lotus House: An Architecture & Design Project

Many years ago, when I was still living in Caid, my (former) household decided to enter the group category of the Caid Pentathlon. Now, if you haven’t spent a lot of time in Caid, you may not be familiar with this juggernaut of a competition, but for Caidan artisans, Pentathlon is the event that they structure their artistic lives around.

It happens every two years; the competition is intense; and in order to win the grand prize, you pretty much have to spend the whole two years preparing. (There are also individual category prizes, but the pentathlon winner has to excel across at least four major categories of disciplines, i.e. fiber arts, performing arts, scribal arts, etc.).

The group category is just as competitive as the individual, and although the overall group entry can consist of five different people doing individual entries, many of the most exciting group entries are actually worked on by multiple people: scenes from Shakespeare, sheep to shawl projects, calligraphy & illumination teams, etc.

Although there is no East Kingdom version of Caid’s biannual Pentathlon (more on that in a future blog post), I still love the idea of embarking on large-scale group projects. Now that I have my own household, one of the things that excites me most is the prospect of creating together. We can do so much more together than we can as individuals.

One of our first such household projects is The Lotus House, an architecture and design project in which we, as a household, are going to design our estates in Isfahan, on the Chahar Bagh. We are still in the research phase of this project, but we have already identified the specific location in the city where our estates will be constructed, and done some preliminary sketches and brainstorming.

The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan, who has had a lifelong interest in architecture, and has made an extensive personal study of the subject, will be the Lead Architect on the project. Everyone in the household will have a voice, and we also welcome participation from friends of the House of the Lotus who simply have an interest in period architecture, interior design, landscape design or city planning.

The project will consist of a research paper, drawings and elevations, and finally two scale models, at different levels of detail. It will encompass not only architecture, but also landscape design, interior design, and mural design. It will probably be a multi-year endeavor.

I hope you will join us on this journey. We’ll check in regularly with updates, and we welcome your input, from wherever you happen to be reading this. In the meantime, I’m putting out a challenge to other households to take on your own household project, aligned to your household’s interests. Let’s see what we can produce when we work together towards a common goal.

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Sayyida Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya


Drawing by Ajir Tsagaan.