From thousands of years ago until now, the architecture of a land has represented a land and its nation. Each architectural style has its own elements and parameters. Iranian architecture is no exception to this view. Iranian architecture is one of the oldest, most original and most popular styles of architecture in the world, which is more than 6000 years old. Huge arches, tall columns and geometric designs with complex mathematical calculations are among the most important features of this architectural style. But Iranian architecture is not limited to these few points. Today and in this article, we are going to get a comprehensive acquaintance with Iranian architecture. So do not miss the continuation of the article.
What is Iranian architecture?
This style of architecture experienced a glorious period during the Achaemenid and Sasanian periods. The same issue existed after the arrival of Islam in Iran. The greatness of Iranian architecture caused the Arabs to use this style abundantly in their own land. Iranian architecture is not just about building a big building. Due to the heavy construction, many workers were involved in the construction. But the more important thing is that before the construction of the building, help was sought from prominent architects for detailed design. But the story of building a place does not end there. In addition to architects, help has also been sought from thinkers and mathematicians. This issue has caused us to see conceptual symbols and designs that can only be solved by complex mathematical calculations on many ancient Iranian monuments.
Principles of Iranian architecture
Like everything else, Iranian architecture also has principles that we intend to examine in this section.
Privacy is important to all of us. Our predecessors were not exempt from this opinion. Buildings with this style of architecture were usually built in such a way that the halls were separated from the outside space and the different parts of the building were connected through an element called vestibule.
We said earlier that grandeur is one of the characteristics of Iranian architecture. However, every effort was made to avoid using additional elements. That is, the middle limit is respected in such a way that there is both that glory and unnecessary aristocracy.
If you look at the huge ancient structures such as Persepolis and Taq Bostan, you will realize that most of the materials used in them are natural elements such as stone, on which designs have been implemented. The ancients always tried to use the natural elements that are abundantly found near them to build buildings. This issue has led to their self-sufficiency in the architecture industry.
Strength and democracy
You must have noticed the huge columns used in Iranian architecture. It is clear that these huge columns were used to maintain the strength of the building. But what is interesting is that even the presence of these fortifications did not harm the interior and exterior design of the building. Even with its design, it has made it more beautiful and matched the different parts of the structure.
Types of Iranian architectural styles
But the style of Iranian architecture itself includes various styles that are categorized based on pre-Islamic, post-Islamic and modern.
Parsi (the first style of Iranian architecture)
It is one of the famous and popular styles of the pre-Islamic period, which can be called the most original type of Iranian architecture. Takht Jamshid, Chaghazanbil and Pasargad are among the best-known examples of this style, which ended after Alexander the Great invaded Iran.
Parthian style is another part of pre-Islamic Iranian architecture. In fact, it can be said that the principle of introversion in Iranian architecture was added to the principles of Iranian architecture from the time of the Parthians. Symmetry and symmetry and the use of various organs are the most important features of Party architecture.
It can be said that Razi architectural style is a complete collection of its previous styles. In other words, in addition to its greatness, it also has pillars and high arches. This style was first popularized in the center of Iran and in Ray. The use of geometric shapes such as squares and circles is one of the main principles of this style.
The first example of Islamic architectural art was formed in Khorasan. Stone mosques with huge minarets and domes are examples of this style. Among the Arabs, the height of a building is determined by the height of the tallest person with his arms raised.
Azeri or Mongol-Azeri style is another style of Iranian architecture that was popular in Azerbaijan at that time. Of course, keep in mind that this style makes great use of Islamic architecture, which you can see in places such as Tabriz Citadel, Goharshad Mosque, or even Isfahan’s Minaret.
With the beginning of Safavid rule, a new style entered Iranian architecture. Isfahani style of architecture. In this style, for the first time, the infrastructure was considered before the construction of the building, which is the reason why old buildings such as the Shah Mosque, Chehl Seton, and Aali Qapu remain strong and maintain their magnificence until today.
Modern Iranian architecture
But now it’s time to start a big revolution in Iran’s architecture industry. Unlike the traditional styles where old architects were used in their construction, this time and in the modern style, modern architects are used entirely. This style of architecture was introduced to Iran at the beginning of Pahlavi rule and around 1300 AH. As a result of the introduction of this style, great changes occurred in Iranian society. The transformation of streets, industries, transportation, etc. was one of the effects of this style entering Iran. Today, after more than a hundred years have passed since the arrival of modernity in Iran, the buildings that are built are still using this style.
Decorations in Iranian architecture
God is beautiful and loves beauty. So beautification should be taken seriously. Iranian architects, from thousands of years ago until now, have emphasized the principle of beauty of the buildings they build. Its result can be seen in many monuments such as Naqsh Jahan in Isfahan, Eram Garden in Shiraz, Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad. But what tools are used for these decorations? Stay with us to review this tool together.
Light and color are two main members in architecture and design. Iranian architects have been aware of this for a long time. But the implementation of colored glass in the body of the building has given another effect to its beauty. These glasses are generally used in doors and windows and by coloring the light that enters the house, they create a wonderful and colorful visual view. The best example for the use of colored glass is the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, which is a world record. Every year, many people from all over Iran and the world go there to watch this work.
Another element that is injected into the interior of buildings, especially traditional buildings, is small mirrors that create a beautiful view by being placed next to each other. In addition to beauty, mirrors are also used to reflect light. This will improve the lighting of a place. These mirror works are mainly used in religious places and in fact it can be said that mirror work is specific to Iranian Islamic architecture. Mirror works can be seen in many religious places such as Razavi Shrine and Shahcheragh Shiraz.
But now it’s time to examine a decorative element that requires a lot of things to implement. Creativity, skill, mathematical science and accuracy have been required for the implementation of colored tiles. If you have seen in some of these places, small and large tiles are arranged together in such a way that the result is a wonderful work of art. The Safavid era was the peak of this art until today it has become one of the original Iranian arts. Beautiful tiling can be seen in buildings such as Saadiyeh, Goharshad Mosque, etc.
Another element that can be injected into the building for beauty is beautiful and basic plastering. It is necessary to mention that plastering is usually done on the upper parts of the building. The ceilings and the upper parts of the wall are the main places for performing basic and beautiful plasters. During the Sassanid era, plastering was invented for the first time on the interior parts of buildings. Today, we widely see the implementation of plasterwork with different designs and shapes.
Now it’s time to examine one of the elements that gives the exterior of the building its glory inspired by nature. Water features have had a special place in the beautification of the external environment since thousands of years ago. They were mainly used in the outer courtyards, but over time, this element was also introduced into the house. Water has been a symbol of purity since ancient times. Even today, in many recreational and even cultural and religious places, we see the brilliance of small and large water features.
Special members in Iranian architecture
In Iranian architecture, there is a series of elements that make this style of architecture different from others. In the rest of this section, we will examine them.
Cells were small rooms that were built in the form of four or six sides in the surrounding area. These rooms were usually a place for students to study, rest for guests and spend the night.
In the past, five doors were widely used. Five doors are called rooms that include 5 windows facing the yard or porch. These five doors are usually used as a reception hall for guests.
In the past, they did not have access to such cooling devices. For this reason, they built a space called the cellar. A shallow basin was made inside the cellars, and with the help of wind towers on top of it, it was able to provide air conditioning for people, and it was a suitable environment for storing food.
One of the most outstanding arts of Iranian architects has been the construction and use of windmills. Wind deflectors functioned like today’s air conditioning system and were responsible for cooling the air. Their way of working is that tall towers were built first. Then the wind that entered the upper part, moved down and created cool air with the cellar that was there. Then, by opening the doors in the lower part, cool air flows. Yazd and Kashan were and are the origin of the use of wind deflectors.
Ivan was invented for the first time during the Parthian period. A porch was said to be a space that has a higher surface than the surrounding surfaces. One side of it leads to the yard and the other side is connected to the internal parts of the building, which usually has three entrances. By the way, the portico is the same as the porch, but with columns and a smaller size.
As you have seen, in this article we examined Iranian architecture and its characteristics. While thanking you for accompanying us in this article, we learned that the country of Iran has a rich architectural history. We also found out what unique characteristics each Iranian architectural style had and what elements and how they should have been used in Iranian buildings in order to improve people’s quality of life in addition to beauty. Maybe you are also interested in decorating your home in an authentic Iranian style. You can get in touch with the experts of Ohaddeco collection for free consultation.