عنوان مقاله [English]
Problem statement: Several factors caused the fundamental changes of Iranian architecture during the early 20th century. One of these factors was the personal observations of the Iranian in Europe. These observations were effective from an urban and architectural point of view and they probably had effects on the architectural and urban mentalities of the Iranians.
Research objective: The main aim of this paper is to review and categorize the positive criticism of Iranians on the European towns and architecture in the late Qajar era until Reza Pahlavi’s coup, then to compare them with the negative criticism of Iranians on architecture and town planning in Iran in the same period.
Research Method: This paper applies a hermeneutic-historical method. It is formulated in the theoretical framework of the “Multiple Modernities” theory. In this research, 21 late Qajar travelogues have been reviewed and the data related to the research questions have been separated and categorized. Furthermore, they have been compared with the negative criticism of Iranians on pre-Modern Iranian architecture and town planning.
Conclusion: The main positive aspects of European towns and architecture in the eyes of Iranian travelers have been the hygiene of the towns and buildings, building in principle (building based on a plan, and the order and regularity of the built environment), technology, height, the beauty of the staircases, protection of historical heritage, and the abundance of public spaces. Later, it is depicted that the abundance of positive criticism of some certain aspects of European towns and architecture (sanity and order) is a symptom of the authors’ main concerns about the Iranian architecture and town planning, not just an objective evaluation of European towns and architecture. In other words, Iranian Modernity -which is a “different Modernity”- has paid more attention to some specific aspects and accomplishments of the architectural Modernity in Europe, based on its own local needs and concerns. Therefore, Iranian Modernity has presented a collective and local interpretation of architectural and urban modernization.