The Relationship between the Past and the Present in Some Contemporary Residential Architecture in Tehran

Document Type : Research Paper


Shahid Beheshti University


Some experts believe that today’s Iranian architecture is not in the way of the traditional architecture. Reviewing history books and magazines shows that heritage of traditional Iranian architecture has been neglected since Qajar era. Therefore establishing a link between the present and the past is considered an important issue of Iranian contemporary architecture and it has been years that “Iranian identity in architecture” and “an architecture that is catered to Iranians’ preferences” have become critical challenges of many Iranian architects. In contemporary era, many architectural scholars recognize the establishment of a connection to the past as a way of transforming the current undesirable status of architecture, asserting that Iranian traditional architecture has implicit and explicit principles that can be realized at any time. Therefore, after when the negative aspects of this neglect were revealed, several architects began to restore the heritage in their architectural pieces and many considerable works have been created. Also in theory many scholars have thought about this issue and many meetings have been held in this topic.
In the last decades, some researches have been done with the aim of finding the contemporary architectural pieces and buildings that have tried to follow the traditional rules and criteria of Iranian architecture. This research studies some of the contemporary residential buildings in Tehran, which are designed by following this course- with the aim of identifying design approaches. Researchers referred to scholars of today architecture and experts – academicals or professional - for selecting precedents of this typology. Finally, four projects out of thirty are analyzed by using innate critique and “understanding the architecture through itself”; Because understanding the relationship between the past and the present established in architectural projects can only gained through contemplation on the works themselves.
After analyzing the projects, architectural approaches in the way of creating a connection to the past, are explained. The conclusion includes acknowledgement of contemporary architects’ attempts in order to establish a connection between the present and the traditional architecture; illustrating their success and failures.
In the end, the architectural approaches in these four houses are categorized in two main groups: Overall approaches and detailed approaches. The results show that using brick and stucco as well as the composition of volumes and masses has helped in creating an Iranian and familiar appearance. Also creating traditional spaces such as vestibule and corridor is another approach. Eventually the central courtyard – as one of the most important approaches- is defined and the results of such a decision in these cases will be assessed. It can be concluded that maybe having a central courtyard in the contemporary residential buildings is not compatible with today’s lifestyle.
This article refutes that the judgments made can be extended to any architectural projects of this typology, but the results of this research can be hypotheses for future detailed researches in this area and within the limits of contemporary architecture in Iran and countries that face similar problems - especially in the area of residential buildings.


اتو، وین (1394)، معماری و اندیشه نقادانه، ترجمه امینه انجم شعاع، موسسه تألیف، ترجمه و نشر آثار هنری متن، تهران.
بانی مسعود، امیر (1389)، معماری معاصر ایران: در تکاپوی بین سنت و مدرنیته، نشر هنر معماری قرن، تهران.
حاجی جعفری بیدگلی، شبنم (1392)، تاملی در اصول معماری ایرانی: سه نظرگاه معاصر، پایان نامه جهت اخذ درجه کارشناسی ارشد در رشته مطالعات معماری ایران، دانشکده معماری و شهرسازی، دانشگاه شهیدبهشتی.
خوئی، حمیدرضا (1379)، نقد و شبه نقد: تأملی در مواضع منتقدین در نقد آثار معماری، رساله برای دریافت درجه دکترا در رشته معماری، هنرهای زیبا، دانشگاه تهران.
شفیعی کدکنی، محمدرضا (1391)، رستاخیز کلمات، انتشارات سخن، تهران.
قبادیان، وحید (1392)، سبک شناسی و مبانی نظری در معماری معاصر ایران، موسسه علم معمار، تهران.
مهندسین مشاور نقش (1387)، نقد آثاری از معماری معاصر ایران، مرکز مطالعاتی و تحقیقاتی شهرسازی و معماری، تهران.
مهندسین مشاور نقش (1393)، معماری و هویت: بررسی معماری معاصر جهان اسلام، تهران: مرکز تحقیقات راه، مسکن و شهرسازی.
میرمیران، هادی (1385)، مقدمه مجله معماری و شهرسازی، شماره 84 ، ص14.
نوایی، کامبیز و کامبیز حاجی قاسمی (1390)، خشت و خیال: شرح معماری اسلامی ایران، انتشارات سروش، تهران.
نوربرگ-شولتز، کریستیان (1388)، ریشه­های معماری مدرن، ترجمه محمدرضا جودت، انتشارات شهیدی، تهران.