An Architectural Tale of the Two Cities

Document Type : Original Paper



A comparative study of the corresponding styles of Western and Iranian modern architecture has hardly ever been carried out in detail. This paper aims to sketch out an outline for such an investigation and to present a summary of empirical evidence accompanied by field observations to elaborate the ongoing trend of relationship between architectural styles in Iran and that of the West. This is particularly the case from the last decades of the 19th century onwards in which a number of styles of architecture, commonly referred to as the imported/modern urban architecture, have had significant impact on our national architecture.
This paper will compare a number of cases in European cities and Tehran and examines their merits and interactions. It will be argued that despite the current professional contempt and the official disregard of these predominantly strong examples of modern architecture in Iran, they represent a valuable legacy of practice for architectural students, as well representing an important era in our urban history.