Building first evolved out of the dynamics between needs (security, shelter, worship, etc.) and means (attendant skills and available building materials). As human cultures developed and knowledge began to be formalized through and traditions, 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, culture, social issue, economy, and tradition of each society.
The architecture in Iran dates back to about 5000 BCE to the present time with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area compared to present day Iran borders, from Syria to North India and the borders of China, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian buildings vary from the simple peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to “some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen”.
Most important features of traditional architecture of Iran include: harmony with the nature and environment and taking benefit from natural facilities of the location, harmony with the traditions of the regions they are in, Iranian architecture portrays beliefs, moral, ethic code and detail of life. The essence of traditional architecture of Iran consists of theosophy and math.
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 participation and communication 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 Iran, 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 following six 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 features 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 the regions they are in, the material of existing Iranian architecture buildings 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 takes advantage of abundant symbolic geometry, using pure forms such as circle and square, and plans are often based on 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.