Housing Design in the traditional urban texture* Case study: Design in the traditional texture of Qom

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran And Core member of the Rural Architecture Research at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 M.A. in Architecture Technology, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Man has a social life and during his life he establishes the most important social institution which is known as a family. This social institution, the family, evokes the architecture of a house. The formation of the house as a family behavioral setting is related to the social behavior, also culture and ethics of the members of the family. More than 90% of the buildings in most traditional cities are residences. In other words, the main landscape of traditional towns has formed with architecture of houses. Therefore, it is important to design appropriate houses in the traditional textures of the cities. Designers should avoid damaging the historical perspective and the valuable traditional textures of our cities. In most cases, a large amount of investments for developing cities belongs to housing projects. Accuracy at the precautionary measurements in housing design could prevent the waste of resources and improve the results of construction phase. Compliance with climate characteristics and design issues could bring many advantages for such projects. Sustainable architecture, for example, reduces the energy consumption and energy costs. New construction in most historical cities of Iran suffers from the lack of attention to the most basic climatic and/or social issues in design. Today, the main problem in the old cities of Iran is the erosion and destruction of the traditional architecture and the city context. In fact, there is no authority to preserve and/or maintain the traditional architecture and valuable urban context. Furthermore, there has been no attempt made for harmonizing traditional Iranian architecture with today’s lifestyle! The consequence of neglecting the values of the traditional architecture has been the threat to lose the identity of traditional architecture and urban textures. Many outlandish buildings arise daily in these cities with no relation to their contextual settings. These new buildings are disproportionate with cultural and sustainable values of traditional architecture. In the modern era, one of the necessities of our architecture is to understand and apply the great lessons of the old authentic architecture of our historical cities. Restoration of historical contexts and preserving the valuable traditional values of the cities should gain a public and governmental respect. In order to defend our cities against the inappropriate forms and materials of modern architecture, we should return to the strong values and meaningful lifestyle of the past. For achieve this purpose, we should rehabilitate and upgrade the valuable traditional architecture of our country. This article takes a close look at the traditional Iranian architecture and it examines the design of a residential complex in the historic context of the city of Qom. It demonstrates the possibility of preserving traditional design criteria along with providing appropriate design solutions for the new lifestyle of today. It is an attempt to fill in the gap between the identities of the Iranian architecture with today’s modern lifestyle.