FA - AR

The architecture of university

 | Post date: 2019/08/31 | 
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The construction of this campus was undertaken by Nader Ardalan in 1970.

Its  architecture is unique and mixed, inspired by historical schools and gardens that provide serenity aligned with students ‘scientific needs. The central section of the campus was inspired by Char Bagh School in the historic city of Isfahan and the waterways across the campus resemble Fin garden in Kashan. Students’ residential quarter presently changed to offices is inspired by Hasht Behesht (eight-wing paradise) with a hexagonal design.

This beautiful architecture even after 36 years is one the visual attractions of university given that most of guests and visitors become fascinated by its impressively green and fresh environment. They often cite this feature as one of the memorable scenes of the university.  


 Local Architectural Character, Including Prevalent Forms and Material
 Although local architecture varies according to regional differences, the main tradition in the Iranian vernacular architecture is that of the hot and arid region, which constitutes the largest area of the country. Mud and brick are the two main building materials and architectural forms derive from the structural capacity of the material: thick solid walls with small openings, vaults and domes or timber and clay flat roofs. The climate has also defined some basic patterns which are found both in urban and rural contexts: shaded and narrow streets, courtyards, ventilation towers,...
On the other hand, the monumental tradition which goes back to the old Persian cultures through the Islamic period, has added other spatial principles which also have cosmological and spiritual connotations. Some of these are also recognizable in vernacular patterns. These principles - or spatial/morphological characteristics - are: the inward looking or introverted sense of place; spatial hierarchy: gateways porches, spatial sequence Clements; water, shadow, compact buildings; covered paths; crossings; garden as the re-creation of paradise; geometric order; platforms; landmarks.
 
Topography of the Site
The site of the campus is located is the north-western part of Tehran, on a hilltop sloping smoothly towards the west, south and east. At the eastern end, the site reaches the bank of a river. Due to the location of the site between the foothill of the Damavand mountain and the desert plain, from Shemran "High Place" and Tehran "Low Place", the general topography of the area also slopes down towards the south.
The immediate surroundings of the site have a relatively tolerable density and still conserved their green character. This fact is mainly due to the larger dimension of the plots and to the presence of the large streets surrounding the site. However, in recent years, new housing blocks were built in the western part of the site which are of mediocre architectural quality and this resulted in some congestion. Three major roads located respectively to the south, west and north surround the site and the area of the present campus, the main entrance being on the north, namely through the Khiaban Daneshgah Imam Sadegh, a link between the eastern Vanak Parkway - the present Bozorgerah Shahid Chamran - and the western Farahzad Avenue. The land surrounding the site is planted with trees….
 
However, the impact of this green area is very positive, as it can be seen from the outside and from within the campus garden. The garden includes pine trees, poplars, plane trees and an orchard. The natural ambience this green area produces is pleasant. This also differenciates the site of the campus from the immediate surrounding areas.
 
 Landscaping
Landscape is also a prolongation of this attempt to realise a cultural continuity through space: the terraced garden with reference to the Bagh-i-Fin; the shaded spaces; the general layout of the garden according to the basic geometry of the overall scheme. 
Another aspect of this landscape is merely functional: to create a peaceful and climatically adequate public space between buildings - a fresh area within a hot and arid environment - to give personality and a soft character to secondary spaces; and finally the consideration of the life cycle of the plants and their practical use: the alternation of fast growing species and more durable ones, the use of fruit trees and the orchard.
 
 Materials
Load-bearing walls and vaults have exposed brick surface on the exterior façades. The infill material for the reinforced concrete frames is also buff-coloured brick, which is the traditional brick in Iran. For the indoor coverings of the walls and ceilings, the materials gradually soften from the exterior to the interior: the central courtis in white cement plaster; the rooms are in white smooth plaster. Doors, shutters, and window frames arc in oak wood. Wood was also used in the library, classroom, administration and in the dining hall for covering some slats and interior walls requiring acoustic treatment. The cement roofs have protection layers and plastered skylights. Some of them, especially in the Administration Building, were altered to install local air-conditioning (fan coil) equipment. Heaters were also installed in all indoor spaces. The floors were covered with ochre-coloured cement titles. Similar treatment was used in the garden and courtyard floors with different patterns and colours. The covered spaces were stone-paved.
  
Construction Technology
Except for the wooden frames and wooden furniture which were fabricated outside, all structural infill and other parts were built in-situ, with available local technology.
 
 Origin of Technology, Materials, Labour Force
 All the technology, materials, labour force, and professional staff were Iranian. The labour force, professionals and the contracting firms in the first ICMS construction phase were from Tehran, and the brick layers from Kashan. The labour force and professional staff of the recently completed buildings, the new dormitories and the mosque, were also local.
 
History of Project
 The first phase of the ICMS project (8 modules, the library and some classrooms) commenced in 1970. Works began in June 1970 and were completed in September 1972. The design phase for Phase II (other modules, new classrooms, etc.) started in May 1973, followed by the opening of the building site in the fall of 1973. All work was completed in the fall of 1974. After the Revolution, the last classrooms were completed. Presently, the University is adding two modules to the Administration block, using the same geometrical principle and a similar construction technique.
Generally speaking, the faculty members, the administration and service personnel, the old and present students feel happy and proud of their premises. They like the spaces; they are aware that this architecture has a unique quality, and they associate it with some Islamic principles. On the other hand, the new dormitories of the architect Mazloum can be seen as very functional and efficient spaces, regardless of the aesthetic and symbolic quality of their architecture.

 Climatic Performance
 The natural cross ventilation is found to be one of the most successful assets of the spaces. Another very positive feeling the users express is about the climate of the courts which they find very comfortable; they like to use them.
 

 Source: Official Website of Nader Ardalan