A Mysterious Approach: The Elements of Environmental Sustainability in Traditional Iranian Architecture and Urban Design

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The geographical and geological situation of Iran depicts a country in a stressed climate. In most parts of the country heat and dryness of air and soil have prevailed for centuries. This is why the wind, water, and sun have played significant roles in traditional Iranian architecture and urban planning. Thus the environmentally responsive architecture and urban design in older Iranian cities have introduced a series of logical solutions for human comfort. This study will discuss the specific formal and functional elements in vernacular Iranian architecture and planning which comply with the concept of contemporary environmental sustainability. These climate-responsive architectural methods which emerged as iconic architectural and urban elements include Badgir (wind catcher), court yard, Hozkhaneh (a place in lower ground floor with a pond inside), Ivaan (veranda), Shabestan, Sabaat (passage) and others. Learning from the past has the potential to inspire architects and planners by taking geographical and climatic measures into account. The intelligent use of natural ventilation at urban and architectural levels can restore environmentally friendly relations between human beings and mother nature. The aim of this presentation is to tackle environmental sustainability issues in the light of novel features of historical Iranian architecture and planning. Also, it suggests how adaptation of such solutions in new urban developments and built environment can induce a more sustainable approach in the context of Iranian cities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
EventUWL Doctoral Conference - University of West London , London, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 May 201519 May 2015


ConferenceUWL Doctoral Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • environmental sustainability
  • Traditional architecture
  • Iranian cities
  • Urban design


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