The necessity of identifying and protecting green spaces based on local and regional condition in Iran (case study: Akbarieh garden of Birjand)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences PNU, Tehran, Iran

2 Graduate student of Urban Planning of Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran

3 Master of Science, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences PNU, Tehran, Iran


Iranian traditional cities represent a real symbol of stability and health. These conditions indicate that such urban planning design and program have been done thoughtfully and wisely. In these cities, the natural resources are used with minimal damage to existing endowments, and the highest efficiency is provided. But it often destroyed due to some people's ignorance and legal rules. For this reason, identifying and describing the position of such infrastructure and spaces can affect their conservation and sustainability. So that, this paper is to discuss one of these spaces-the garden Akbarieh of Birjand - and identify its location in this desert town. It is considered internationally as one of the nine important Iranian gardens. For this reason, this study is set out to provide and identify new information for people who are interested in the case. As the matter of fact, lack of winter and summer rain fall increasingly reduced green space and natural green area. It concerned the public greatly. In addition, the politician traffic had increased after Birjand were regarded as gate of East and Indian. Some countries such as English government established a political office in Birjand. This traffic make the political representative try to consult with local authorities before central government conservation. Such meetings and traffics required particular situations. So, the proper condition designed and constructed regarding to natural and social condition in a different eras. Various reasons caused the garden remains ordinary or destroyed over time. Undoubtedly, remained cases have a particular condition. Introducing these attractions could improve their maintenance and it encourages some creative people to build such gardens.
This study has descriptive and analytical approach and the required information are compiled through field visits, expert opinions and use of historical documents. For this purpose, individuals and groups have been questioned related to restoration of the historical garden of Birjand in Iran with sufficient information and experience. Finally, the gathered information summarized and categorized accurately. According to type of data collected, analysis conducted was based on the content type and on the view of experts. Because there is no single opinion about damage kind and destruction process, all commands have been studied and the elements which overlap in the cases under study have taken into account in final analysis. For example, among functions of the garden, after Iran revolution, the item which was accepted plentifully was considered. So, only one function was analyzed. Other cases should be used based on context.
Akbarieh garden is located in the south of Birjand, an ancient city near the Bagheran foothills. According to available information, the construction of the complex started in the late Zandiye era and continued in Pahlavi early stages. More ancient part of Shams Al Moluk building is in easternmost garden built on two floors. Before constructing the garden and the building some structures were connected to the surrounding residential context, and now we can see some composition in the new space.  Last part of the complex is a building known as ceremonial building constructed by Shokat Al Moluk at the final Ghajar era. This part of the building is currently considered as the central part of the complex which is decorated with beautiful views.
Results and discussion
According to geometry regularity in tabulating and adaption of entrance axe with palace axes and entrance portal, Akbarieh garden involves an absolute regularity geometry. It is a great sample of Iranian gardens. Based on situations and functional requirements for various purposes, several different buildings are added to it. They are formed between main and south garden organically. Efficiency, hierarchy, view quality, and creating path movement with a beautiful perspective of garden and buildings were regarded in the next development.  Also, existing the wide terrace and porch caused dominated perspective increased its visual quality.
The main courtyard of garden is rectangular with dimensions of 217 × 94 m located along north-south side and its building located on the south side. Like most Iranian gardens, the main axis of the garden is located on the longitudinal axis and two rows of old age pine trees with boxwood shrubs demonstrated outlook. In the middle, in the end of the garden path and in front of the building there are pools focused on water as the main element to form this garden and in addition the garden image reflected in water. the harmonious relation between the carved form on main building view and the sky line and main terrace inspires an attraction. The garden area is 35000 m2 surrounded by mud-brick wall. Architectural space divided into three parts: main structure, service space, and stable.  
Generally buildings extend from East to Wes. The first building is in the east area in the main Street. Other buildings has arisen according demands coordinate with the previous structure. Although Akbarieh garden and its buildings was not constructed in a particular time and in a specified period, but it considered a full complex due to the similarity in construction and architecture.
The most visible garden space is the main floor located in the middle of the fence.  This space includes tabulate, main and sub streets, general road and pools. Tabulate are considered a section to build the original garden space. Main space was created with replicates and taking together. Although these units include an order internally, it includes the total garden space externally. In relationship with other space they formed more wide space.
Streets enumerated as other garden body. There is a main street branched in sub street. It relates main garden portal into central structure. There are various spaces and scenes in the main street. Such scenes and spaces are the main street wall consisted of shadowy green tree and a pool in the middle of the garden. Also there is an extended scene in which main building with a pool in front of it and flowerbeds with ornamental flowers were noticeable.
The important structural elements of garden can be studied in three main sections. For example, if fence of gardens to be consider in overall look, it can be considered a heating element. Garden fence constructed from brick surrounded with farms. Urban development changes it in residential area. Fence is the most important element of garden space and it affected on internal and external view.
All elements constituted a garden like water movement, tree, and plants and other spaces were displayed with a bed called ground. Against the sky, ground creates a space heated with garden fence. Some factor such as slope, required area, the water presence time, geometry and order of organizing the garden and climate are influenced on forming floor.
Entrance façade and central building are the most important element in garden. Although, structures such as main garden façade, court building, main building, and service building and overhead stair considered a little scale, they have spatial performance.
In akbarieh garden, the specific performance was identified for the main streets and main façade. Nevertheless, it used for reception for some quest. Other performances defined for main building. So that, performances defined as following:
First section: external space is for service and special functions located along the main building.
Second section: Some sub spaces defined as a set of performance related to habitation located around main space.
Third section: Some service performance and guard house such as stable located out of main space.
Due to terrible heat and dust resulting from warm and flaring wind and lack of proper water, availability of green space is inevitable in desert and semi desert zone. It was important in Birjand, because this city was the center of political representative traffic. Such necessity formed various gardens such as Akbarieh which had been identified a territory of horizontal development by extending town forward proper farms.
In fact, such space corresponds with nature as well as it show planning and formation of habitants. However, relationships and factors of such a garden survival can be used as guidance for new generations in post modernism in which people suffer from lack of green space. The issue receives attention if we know some gardens got destroyed intentionally or not intended. In fact, documenting the garden history can be an entrance to maintain and regenerate them. Because the garden is a dynamic organ, it changed over time. So, it should remain unchanged permanently.
If early garden plot changed and some elements removed or added, it could find the different schema in various eras by distinguishing the natural and historical layers of the garden. Based on obtained data, historical structure or initial plan improved. To this end in view, current study emphasized on explanation of Akbarieh garden’s position as one of the elements effected on structure and performance of Birjand, specially supplying the green space and their performance.
These gardens as a complete structure indicate a close relationship between the cultural and natural bed and it is a sign of aligned needs of humans and nature. Manufacture create the garden based on experience resulted to survive natural bed. Surviving this garden is important because Birjand located in the desert area of Khorasan encountered challenges of green and natural space. Birjand developed in Safaviye era. Some its historical garden developed in the last Zandie era, Ghajar and Pahlavi. It depended to this type of space expressively. A city with climate like Birjand affected from Sistan 120 days wind did not survive without this spaces. For this reason this garden was registered in Cultural heritage list in 35th UNESCOmeeting, 2011.
In addition, creating this garden based on special bed corresponding with principles and methods of Iranian architect is a dominant value. Proper localization to preparing early bed, choosing quit plant species, method of agriculture demonstrated the Iranian creativity for using limited source. The plot of this garden plays an important role in developing Birjand because all geometric principle such as symmetry, view extend, water axle, rectangular geometry were used. In fact, regarding to position and localization resulted from environment ability, affected on developing the city. So this caused internal developing and keeps city originality.
Finally, it can be stated that Akbarieh garden highlighted due to its special conditions, historical construction period and designing bed, in addition to various features of other garden. This special feature affected on Birjand structure and any destruction threat the originality of Birjand and gardens. In addition, the mentioned garden demonstrated a close relationship between cultural and natural bed. Also, it corresponds with human being and nature.


Main Subjects

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