The factors affecting on forming and development of Tehran with an emphasis on relationship between city and nature

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of engineering design Environment, collage of environment, Tehran University,

2 Assistant Professor of Department of Architecture,collage of Engineering , Rasht branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Department of architecture, East Tehran branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, iran


Before Qajar era, Tehran City located beside Rey was a borough with favorable weather. At the time, Iranian kings used the borough as a temporary residence. Gradually, kings paid more attention to the borough since it contained green gardens and areas with desirable weather. In Qajar era, announcement of the city as country’s capital enabled its further development and physical growth.
Based on works of travelers and historians published during different historical era, the word “garden” preceded the name “Tehran” to describe it. The review of historical texts shows that one of the early gardens made before civilization and urbanization of Tehran City covered Golestan Garden as well as districts between Org Square and Panzdah-Khordad St. in South, Naser Khosro in East, Khayam St. in West and Imam Square and Imam St. in North.
Based on historical documents, up to middle years of Nasser al-Din Shah’s reign Tehran City physically grew along its eastern-western sides and near Tahmasbi borderline. In late years of the era, the borderline was taken down and city grew northwards towards Alborz mountain skirts and Darvazeh Dolat. However, the mutual association between Golestan Garden and Tehran city or effect of the garden on development and growth of the city has not been studied yet. In other words, review of literature of development and growth of Tehran City showed that role of garden as natural contributor to and main factor affecting development and growth of the city has not been studied yet. From Iranian architectural viewpoint, architecture develops out of garden. This significant factor (i.e. garden) could be studied in relation to Tehran City. In other words, effect of historical garden of the city, as city was previously a borough and had a garden in it, could be reviewed further.
The studies of historical maps signified the importance of Golestan garden in Tehran village as well as effect of garden, as primary nucleus of the city, on development and growth of Tehran City.
Therefore, the present paper seeks to suggest that the main factor affecting development, growth and orientation of Tehran City is Golestan garden. In addition, it is endeavored to suggest that natural setting (i.e. garden), city and architecture are mutually related.
In order to conduct the study, the following questions should be explained.
Q.1-Could one state that Tehran City was developed out of the garden?
Q.2-Did development of Tehran city arise out of the garden?
Q.3-What is the role of Golestan garden in the association?

In this paper, it is presumed that there is a direct association between garden and development of the city. In addition, association between physical growth of Tehran City and its natural setting and gardens (especially Golestan garden) is hypothesized. Temporal changes of the garden and its internal constructions exert effect on the city and its development as long as the garden is not torn into pieces. Since garden acted as an element directing the city towards outside of its boundary wall, the gardens located out of the city, north and skirts of Alborz mountains, the present paper intends to highlight the mutual effects of natural setting (i.e. garden), city and architecture on each other.
From a natural viewpoint, analysis of natural and historical layers of the city as well as its natural setting offers a reasonable and scientific method for studying development and growth of the city. In the present paper, the method is adopted to evaluate and document the association between Tehran City and natural factors.
To real the research objectives, historical texts should be reviewed to highlight the associations between trend of urban changes and garden, garden and architecture, and architecture and decorations. Based on this method, collection and review of all relevant documents, historical documents, travel books, and relevant images are done to collect the necessary information on above associations. Then, review of those studies may offer layers of information for further analysis of trend of growth and development of Tehran City as well as its association with natural factors and setting. Consequently, data collection is followed by study of the associations of garden, city, architecture, and natural setting. Finally, a hermeneutic approach is adopted to analyze the data qualitatively.
The findings suggest that primary core of Tehran City was made up of vegetation and direction of water networks (aqueducts) at the skirts of Alborz mountains. One of the gardens exerting higher effect on the urban development is Golestan garden. Physical growth of the city is correlated with lower number of these gardens while such gardens increase in number northwards and out of Tehran City. In general, one may suggest that in its initial steps of development, Tehran had a direct correlation with natural elements and the association continued until Pahlavi era. The interaction between city and its natural setting could be categorized into three major parts: association between nature and city in a macro-scale, association between nature and architecture in a medium scale, and association between decoration and nature in a micro-scale.
In a macro-scale, the garden contributed to development of the city, its changes and future trends. In a medium scale, Golestan garden and its internal set of buildings act as a city within another city. In such a case, the initial core of the city is its garden and it grows northward. In the case of development and internal change of the city, priorities were maintaining geometrics of the garden, keeping its square and rectangular shape (principles of developing Iranian gardens) and building architectural spaces. On the other hand, change in view of inner-city gardens to skirts of Alborz mountains and remote vistas during Qajar era led to directing the growth of buildings inside the garden and development of the city northward (i.e. towards mountain skirts). In a small scale, significance of nature and natural elements such as tree, plants and water is vivid. In this case, tile and painting decorations use such elements when royal and luxury settings are concerned.


Main Subjects