If you want to get familiar with an Iranian family’s culture and lifestyle in the past, the calculated and unique architecture of the Iranian house is without a doubt the best way.
Archeologists believe that the history of building houses goes back to the Neolithic era, when humans began to settle down. The first houses based on the basic rules of architecture in Iran were built in the archeological site of Tepe Sialk in Kashan and Zagheh Cemetery in Ghazvin. The houses belong to late 6th century. As the craft of house-building developed peripheral factors such as weather, people’s professions and economic and social models affected the structure of the house and the materials used in it.
Inwardness, the most distinguished feature of Iranian house
Houses built in desert areas are epitomes of Iranian traditional houses that have been built in other parts of Iran with a bit of difference. The most significant characteristics of Iranian house are its big size and the attention given to keeping the privacy of the inhabitants, both taken from the culture and religion of Iran. Based on this the yard is the most important part of the house and the part that links the inner sections to the outer ones. The yard provides the light and allows heat to be contained in the walls. The other parts of the house are located around the yard; namely, five-door and three-door rooms, the warming room, the hall, the porch which was mostly used for resting, the dining room and the reception room. There are some spaces used for house services such as kitchen, stable, restroom, bath, pool, storeroom, underground, water source and closet. Other spaces link the parts to each other. Some of them are: entrance, Hashti, corridor, porch, and stairway. The spaces mentioned right now were placed either around the yard or a bit farther, based on their importance. The most needed parts were immediately built after the yard, then were the private parts and finally service rooms.
It’s good to know that desert houses use parts such as wind catcher, basement, and cooling area to create a suitable living condition in the warm atmosphere of the desert. So the wind catcher could be called the most distinguished part of desert houses. Moreover, houses have been covered with arches and round roofs in desert areas.
Saving Natural Energy
It’s an important principle to save energy in Iranian houses. So, walls were built as thick as possible to prevent cold and warm weather from entering the house. Wooden doors were also used in different parts to complete the task. All the houses opened to the yard and had enough light. Windows were designed in small parts to keep the privacy of the inner parts.
Similar activities adjoin
Another principle that had to be observed in these houses was the fact of putting similar activities next to each other, meaning that all the choirs that complete each other would be put in a certain area. On the other hand activities that do not resemble each other were placed as far as possible. The paths connecting different parts to each other were used to locate the position of these activities in a way to separate private parts from public ones. Another principle used in Iranian houses is that of using decorations that stand in contrast to the plain exterior of the buildings. Using architecture-related items such as tiles, blocs, mirrors and stucco works exemplified Iranian art’s grandeur.
The houses built in northern and southern parts of Iran differ a little bit with those in desert areas regarding the density of the house spaces but all of them stem from a shared philosophy that make them dependent on each other. All principles of desert houses have been observed in others too but with a bit of difference in appearance.
Of course now that technology has progressed, traditional ideas about heating and cooling the house no longer work as before and all building processes around the world are now in line with modern technologies.