Iranian Architecture

Capital Tehran

Language Persian

Area 1,648,195 km2

Population 79.2 million

Through its complex cultural past and occasional turbulent political environments, Iran's architecture has achieved its own distinct vernacular. Monumental mosque design reflects the religiously affiliated architecture of the past but contemporary architects in Iran are concerned with defining their place in non-secular design. Contemporary Persian architecture, shown in this list of projects, news, and firms, shows an aesthetic connected with its spiritual past, trying to find its place in the future.
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History of Architecture: Megaliths, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt

As far as written records report, “prehistory” dates back between 35,000 BCE and 3000 BCE in the Middle East (2000 BCE in Western Europe). Ancient builders had a profound understanding of human responses to environmental conditions and physical needs. Initially, families and tribes lived together in skin-covered huts and bone structures. Thousands of years later, human settlements evolved into fortified mud-brick walls surrounding rectangular volumes with pierced openings for ventilation and sunlight. 

An Alternative Museum for Burning Man and a Concrete Lighthouse: 12 Unbuilt Projects Submitted by our Readers

Gathering the best-unbuilt architecture from our readers' submissions, this curated collection features conventional, original and innovative functions. With projects from all over the world, this roundup is a conceptual discovery of different architectural approaches.

Working with Contradictions: In Conversation with Alireza Taghaboni

In this interview by Parametric Architecture, NEXT Office's founder, Iranian architect Alireza Taghaboni, talks about his approach to design, describing how he reinterprets the principles of traditional Iranian architecture and translates the cultural and climatic context into his work. The interview covers the conceptual thinking behind several projects, as the architect discusses dichotomies such as mass-void, introversion-extroversion as being the recurrent themes of his designs.

NextOffice Designs Mashhad C.E.O Headquarters in Iran

NextOffice has created a space where engineers can gather and communicate with each other. Located in Mashhad, Iran, the 14 200 square meter development was inspired directly from traditional Iranian constructions, with the implementation of a structural void that generates the rest of the morphology and defines access.

Iran's Cultural Site Persepolis Reimagined through Minimalist Frames

Architect and visual artist Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar has been conceptually combining contemporary landmarks with traditional Iranian houses, palaces and monuments in a photo-series titled "Retrofuturism". In his latest exploration, Peace, the Persian architect looks to Iran's Persepolis cultural site, the former capital of the Achaemenid Empire.

FMZD Imagines Sangan Hotel, a Tent-Like Developement in the North-East of Iran

Farshad Mehdizadeh Design created a hotel in the small city of Sagan, as a conceptual response to the lack of residential and hospitality functions in this newly developed area of Iran. The project consists of a low-rise structure in a 50,000 m2 plot.

FMZD Transforms an Existing Concrete Structure in Tehran into a Contextual Shopping Mall

The Tehran Eye is a contextual shopping center that caters to the needs and the common living practices in the Iranian capital. The project, conceived by Farshad Mehdizadeh Design, consisted of redesigning a façade and reorganizing a large existing structure into an integrated entity in the city.

Brick by Brick: Rethinking Masonry Construction in Iran

Iran’s architecture has long been rooted in Persian culture. From tea houses and pavilions to domestic huts and elaborate mosques, the country’s built environment is tied to these influences, as well as the landscape and its broader context. At the heart of Iran’s more recent projects is a desire to reinterpret history through new spaces and forms.

Kamyaran Project Proposes New Concept of School-to-City Facility

The Kurdish city of Kamyaran - which sits on the transit borders of Kurdistan and Iran - is a developing city that experienced a devastating earthquake a few years ago. The city is located in a district deprived of modern facilities, and the majority of the residents' income is acquired from the transit of products across the common border with Iraq and Turkey. Project developers in the area are faced with several challenges, one of which is the amount of projects needed to ameliorate the city's status.

Iranian Project Manipulates Geometric Slabs for Privacy in Forest Villa

Situated between the Caspian Sea and Si Sangan forest, Iranian firm MADO Architects developed a private residential project dedicated to the clients' specific request of absolute privacy. The Sisangan Villa project focused on the site's layout, referral to typical vernacular architecture, and geometric manipulation to create a dynamic structure of intersecting concrete walls and glass facades.

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