Born into an Iranian family of electrical and mechanical engineers, Bahare displayed a considerable talent for mathematics and physics at an early age. But she steadily developed an interest in acting, art and music.

‘To me, choosing a discipline at university was all about linking those two worlds, about building a bridge between the two. Fortunately my parents understood that and encouraged me to pursue architecture.’

After graduating at Shahid Beheshti University in Teheran she wanted to continue with a master’s at TU Delft in building technology. For her graduation thesis there she performed successful experiments with facades made out of ultra-thin glass and smart materials, which have an embedded metal element that enables them to change shape, for instance to open and ventilate automatically.

‘This extremely thin, smart glass is normally used in mobile phones and nobody knew what it could do in architecture. It was terribly exciting but it worked. Really spectacular.’

She liked the Netherlands, but finding a job that allowed her to combine her love of innovative structural engineering with designing freedom was hard. The answer turned out to be ZJA.

‘But it’s not only the intimate and stimulating link between architecture and engineering that make me feel at home here, it’s also the people. It’s like a family.’

When not working, Bahare likes to travel, and she loves painting and photography. She makes cycling trips and plays the Iranian setar, a four-stringed instrument that resembles a lute.