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While Dariush Zandi has been consulting for major development projects, his heart lies with ones that involve and focus on preservation and working with nature, environment, history and traditional issues. The Courtyard building in Dubai, where he is based at, is one such example, and is the home to the two entities he has founded, Total Arts and Total Design.


Design and project manager and developer, for the construction of a 70,000 sqft commercial complex. This landmark's design contrasts distinctive exterior features with the warm, artistic feel of the offices, retail spaces, artist workshops, and studios. The center has been instrumental in transforming the Al Quoz neighborhood into an artistic and cultural hub.

The Courtyard's concept was to create a viable multidisciplinary community center, which could house a variety of functions, exhibitions and cultural activities in a city with many different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. It was created to be a place for people to meet, interact and learn about each other while engaging in art and culture. The efforts to make the Courtyard green and colorful were enjoyed and appreciated by all involved.

Designer and contractor for a set of private villas, incorporating the layout of indigenous architecture, at the edge of the desert. The project was completed with the assistance of architects Mr. Farrokh Frank Sabouri and Mr. Jamali. The concept was to create a house which revolved around a courtyard. When drawing the plan, note was taken of the direction of sunrise and sunset in relation to the house, to optimize the use of natural light. Traditional elements were also used with a great deal of care. Balconies and roof gardens are very practical and people can stand on the balcony or in the veranda and face the open desert, people can also climb onto the roof garden to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the vast stretches of sand. In the garden, a gazebo creates a nice nook for residents to sit during the warm and cool months. The colors are vividly contrasting, especially those on the doors. The buildings must be colorful to balance the landscape.

Designed a private house with a farm, incorporating the surrounding nature, in a mountain village. Effort was made to make the designing process very simple and straightforward by approaching the route of being indigenous, climatically suitable, environmentally and geographically sustainable. Respect was given to building with the environment, which means understanding about the climate, the orientation of the land and the natural elements.

Architect and urban designer with Gruzen Samton of New York City, for six residential towers around a Central Park, North/Marina Towers 1.3 million SF, South/Beach Towers 1.6 million SF. Six residential towers arrayed around a Central Park, integrating with the ceremonial access to the proposed hotel complex at the tip of the peninsula. North Towers, otherwise known as Marina Towers have their distinct character, responding to the marina promenade. South Towers, otherwise known as Beach Towers are composed of slender, narrow profile maximizing views and ventilation.