Shahyad: A Multi Faceted Symbol

The article is an analysis of the most iconic architectural monument of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which ironically also happens to have been the symbol of 2500 years of Imperial Rule, Representing the “Gateway into the Great Civilization” of the Pahlavi Dynasty.
It gives a cursory review of the historical background of the time the monument was built, especially in all other artistic domains in order to set the political mood in which these events happened – i.e. heightened Nationalism, a brief history of the competition and a profile of its winner, young Hossein Amanat, freshly out of Tehran University’s Architectural School, before delving into more details about the concept, the design and the construction of the building.
The architectural precedents for this quite unique a monument are to be found in Sassanid architecture as well as various Islamic periods of Iranian architecture, so that it already was a double-edged icon before the Islamic Revolution, and has now become even more so.
The article concludes by stressing the Modernity of Shahyad, not only in terms of design but in so far as its construction techniques are concerned, making this tower at least two decades ahead of its time.
فریار جواهریان*
Current Issue: 
Past Issue