Facade Tectonics in Traditional Houses of Shiraz, Iran, Case Study: Zinat-al-Molk House

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture & Environmental Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 M.A. in Architecture Technology, Instructor at Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Traditional Persian architects used to employ the facade ornaments to illustrate cultural values and heritage. Moreover, their approach for the adaptation of decorations to structural constructional requirements of buildings, called tectonics, could be considered as a cultural-artistic character itself. Although these features were omitted when modernism and its independent facade principle prevailed, a great deal of research has always been conducted in order to redefine domestic styles and revive the lost identity of Persian facades. Along with these efforts, the present article intends to investigate the tectonic characteristics of traditional house facades in city of Shiraz, Iran. It mainly concerns the delineation of ornamental and structural layers of the facade which might contribute basic patterns and inspiring concepts to contemporary Persian architecture and lead to ideas for designing new residential facades with cultural identities. This research is an interpretive-historical case study which has a holistic attitude towards analysis of the qualitative data that consists of contextual evidence from a traditional house in Shiraz. The results indicate that the elements of traditional facades of Shiraz were basically shaped according to unavoidable structural necessities, while the designer has used distinctive ontological and representational methods to adorn these elements, and created a surface which mediates between the solid structural volumes and human cultural and artistic needs. It also confirms that the methods were chosen based on spatial qualities of a home.


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  • Receive Date: 11 August 2014
  • Revise Date: 16 December 2014
  • Accept Date: 07 February 2015
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2015