Building first evolved out of the dynamics between needs (shelter, security, worship, etc.) and means (available building materials and attendant skills). As human cultures developed and knowledge began to be formalized through oral traditions and practices, building became a craft, and “architecture” is the name given to the most highly formalized and respected versions of that craft. Architecture is integrate part of history, economy, social issue, culture and tradition of each society.
The architecture in Iran dates back to 5000 BCE to the present with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Syria to North India and the borders of China, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to “some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen”.
Most important properties of traditional Architecture of Iran include: harmony with the nature and environment and take benefit from natural facilities of the location, harmony with the traditions of all provinces, Iranian architecture portrays detail of life, beliefs, moral, ethic code and some other. The essence of traditional Architecture of Iran consists of math and theosophy.
As in ancient Iranian book architecture is named as “alhaseb” and “almohandess” motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism “by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven”. This theme, shared by virtually all Asia and persisting even into modern times, not only has given unity and continuity to the architecture of Persia, but has been a primary source of its emotional characters as well. The traditional architecture of the Iranian lands throughout the ages can be categorized into the six following classes or styles.
- The Persian style (Achaemenid, Median, Elamite eras)
- The Parthian style (Parthian, Sassanid eras)
- The Khorasani style
- The Razi style
- The Azari style
- The Isfahani style
Most important properties of traditional Architecture of Iran include: harmony with the nature and environment and taking benefit of natural facilities of the location, harmony with the traditions of all provinces, Iranian architecture available building materials dictate major forms in traditional Iranian architecture. Heavy clays, readily available at various places throughout the plateau, have encouraged the development of the most primitive of all building techniques, molded mud, compressed as solidly as possible, and allowed to dry. This technique used in Iran from ancient times has never been completely abandoned. The abundance of heavy plastic earth, in conjunction with a tenacious lime mortar, also facilitated the development of the brick.
Iranian architecture take advantage of abundant symbolic geometry, using pure forms such as circle and square, and plans are based on often symmetrical layouts featuring rectangular courtyards and halls.
All traditional Persian houses have following sections:
Hashti and Dalan-e-vorudi. Entering the doorway one steps into a small enclosed transitional space called Hashti. Here one is forced to redirect his steps away from the street and into the hallway, called Dalan e Vorudi. In mosques, the Hashti enables the architect to turn the steps of the believer to the correct orientation for prayer hence giving the opportunity to purify oneself before entering the mosque. Convenient access to all parts of the house and a central pool with surrounding garden. Important partitionings such as the biruni (exterior) and the andaruni (interior) Persian houses in central Iran were designed to make use of an ingenious system of wind tower that create unusually cool temperatures in the lower levels of the building. Thick massive walls were designed to keep the sun’s heat out in the summertime while retaining the internal heat in the winters.
Famous Architectural Sites in Iran are; Meidan-e-Emam, Takht-e-Soleyman, Bisotun, Persepolis, Pasargadae, Bam, Ifahsan, Soltaniyeh and Tchogha Zanbil. Iran also enjoys some number of world known villages that has unique architectural feature like Abyaneh in the central part and Masouleh in the northern part of the country; in both of the villages it is the nature who is the architecture.