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2009 Awards Entries for Culture Heritage Conservation

IRAN

 

Bekhradi's Historical Residence, Isfahan

The Bekhradi Historical Residence in Isfahan is a Safavid building dating to the seventeenth century. It is located in Sombolestan, one of the oldest quarters of the city, and comprises a courtyard, fountain and grand ivan façade with two slender wooden columns and muqarnas capitals. It remains in the hands of the Bekhradi family, who have restored the house and converted it into a four-star hotel with five suites, a grand dining room and a tea house decorated in the traditional Iranian manner.


Emam Jome Shahidi House, Qazvin

The Emam Jome Shahidi House in Qazvin is an outstanding example of Qajar domestic architecture dating to the nineteenth century. The brick courtyard building located in the historic Mahalleh Akhond quarter was inhabited by three generations of imams, or religious leaders, of the Shahidi family. Prior to its restoration the elaborate brick façade of the building was on the verge of collapse, and the intricate interior woodwork and plaster heavily decayed. Since its conservation the building has been used as a cultural centre and library by the surrounding community.

Hotel Dad, Yazd

Hotel Dad was built between 1928 and 1934 as an intercity trucking depot, designed on the courtyard plan precisely in the manner of a traditional caravanserai. Drivers and loaders lodged in the rooms arrayed around the central parking space, and goods were brought by cart each morning to be distributed among the trucks. The building has subsequently been transformed into a hotel by the Dad family. The brick architecture of the depot was stabilized with the addition of concrete foundations and the courtyard excavated to provide an additional level of rooms and subterranean parking.

Marvi Passage, Tehran

A narrow, partly-covered alley lined with shops and other historic buildings was built to provide access to the Fakhriyeh (or Marvi) theological seminary, built by Haj Mohammad Hosein Khan Marvi during the early nineteenth century by order of Fat’h Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1797-1834). The passage linked the seminary with Pa’menar and Naser Khosro Streets in an area near the old city walls of Tehran. Over the years this formerly prosperous thoroughfare became neglected, with many of the residents electing to move to more modern quarters of the city. The conservation effort has preserved much of this relic of Old Tehran, including the grand Mozaffarian House, creating what is in effect a free outdoor museum.

Moshir Hotel Garden, Yazd

The Moshir Hotel Garden is the latest incarnation of a garden residence built by Mirza Fath-Ollah Khan Moshir Ol-Mamalik, the finance minister and vice-ruler of Yazd in the early twentieth century. It was abandoned in 1967 and left derelict, with cracks occurring in the masonry and plasterwork obliterated. In 2001 the large courtyard property was acquired by Moshir and Co. with the purpose of converting it into a hotel. The brick-and-tile structure with its central pool, pavilion and monumental entrance has been carefully restored. The hotel currently has 65 rooms, mostly located in the former storage spaces arrayed around the courtyard.

Qajar Bath Project, Qazvin

The restoration project has given new life to the oldest bath in Qazvin. Built in 1647 by Amir Ghouneh Khan, a commander of Shah Abbas II’s Safavid army, the bath is located in a historic quarter of Qazvin. It is built primarily of brick and tile with separate domed changing areas and caldaria for men and women. The bath was in almost complete ruin when the conservation began. Since its restoration it has been converted into a museum of traditional bath culture and tea shop.

Tamizi House, Isfahan

The Tamizi Historical House in Isfahan is a fine example of Qajar architecture dating probably to the nineteenth century. The house is built on a courtyard plan, with a central fountain and an elaborate façade featuring a carved wooden latticework screen known as a shah-neshin. The interior is extensively frescoed. Before its conservation the building had suffered considerably from rising damp and the appearance of cracks in the brickwork. It has been restored as a traditional residence.