© 2018

Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in Iran

Tradition, Modernity, and the Production of 'Space-in-Between'


  • Provides a detailed overview from the last 150 years of Iranian architecture and urbanism, starting from mid-19th century to the present

  • It is the first study of contemporary architecture and urbanism of Iran from a theoretical viewpoint

  • It provides an in-depth analysis of three internationally recognised architects, their contribution to the emerging anti-modern, post-modern urban culture, and their success in creating a “space-in-between” which reflects both local socio-cultural roots and international advanced technological achievements

  • Includes novel illustrations and documents about architecture and urbanism in Iran


Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 1-25
  3. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 27-43
  4. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 45-102
  5. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 103-164
  6. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 165-187
  7. M. Reza Shirazi
    Pages 189-193

About this book


This book presents an in-depth critical analysis of the internationally recognized, place-specific works of three Iranian architects (Nader Ardalan, Kamran Diba and Hossein Amanat) during the 60s and 70s, and their significant contribution to the emerging anti-modernist discourse.
It argues that from the mid-19th century onwards architecture and urban design in Iran has been oscillated between two extremes of modernity and tradition. Drawing on the theory of ‘critical regionalism’ (Kenneth Frampton), the book critically analyses writings and works of the above-mentioned architects and contends that they created a ‘space-in-between’ which unified two extremes of tradition and modernity in a creative way (Khalq-i Jadid: New Creation). The book also contains three in-depth interviews with architects to discuss their singular narrative of the creation of ‘in-between’. A concluding chapter addresses the promises of critical regionalist architecture and urban design in post-Revolutionary Iran as well as the Middle East, where the dichotomy of tradition and modernity is yet a valid account.


Contemporary Architecture and Urban Design Islamic Architecture and Urban Planning Tradition and Modernity Critical Regionalism Theory of Place and Space

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Built EnvironmentOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr. M. Reza Shirazi is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University, and currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD), UC Berkeley. 

Bibliographic information

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