Design Management Methods In The Vicinity Of Religious Architecture Case study: The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi

Document Type : Research Article



Following the plans that were approved for the historic district of the cities in recent years, designing around and in the vicinity of architectural artworks, were considered by the designers of Cultural Heritage Organization and some plans were submitted in this regard especially for the religious complexes in these areas. But due to exposure to specific design situations, the unanimity of various beneficiary authorities and organizations was difficult. The seven step design process around the mausoleum of Sheikh Safi is a sensible and unique example of this claim which is the main focus of the research. The aim is to find out how to coordinate and harmonize the designers and employers. The first concept was accomplished in 1990 based on the methodology of designing a commercial-cultural complex. In the second concept, the commercial approach became inferior. The next four concepts were presented after the historical excavations and therefore investigations of the design team and the experts of the state and Cultural Heritage Organization and the design goals were different to some extent in the way that the commercial spaces became more relevant to the mausoleum necessities. In the first concept which was based on the approved plan of historic district of Sheikh Safi and the main approach of renovation of the urban space in the vicinity of Sheikh Safi Ad-din mausoleum and its connection to the outstanding elements of Ardabil historical district, several goals were at high priority: -Development of appropriate urban facilities and services in the design limits. -Creation of acceptable urban spaces congruous to public demands especially procession of mourning carnivals in bereaving occasions through construction of “Hoseynieh”. -Construction of suitable space for presenting handicrafts such as a Bazaar inspired by the mausoleum and other important monuments of the city. -Renovation of “Soleyman Shah” mosque which represents the acme of the passage starting from “Ali Qapo” square and its appropriate connection to “Hoseynieh”. -Designing based on respect toward the historical heritage which could be accomplished through refraining from extreme heights and outstanding or unfamiliar masses. The most important specifications of the seven concepts are briefly explained: First Concept: After the entrance and “Ali qapo” square there is a Bazaar which itself has a square in the center. Then there is “Dar al hadis” which would be used as a book fair. At one side there is the entrance of “Hoseynieh” and a traditional café beside it. Finally there is monumental space of martyrs from which “Hoseynieh” and the minarets of “Soleyman Shah” mosque could be seen. Second Concept: The commercial spaces of the Bazaar are changed to an amphitheater. The other spaces including the entrance, “Hoseynieh” and monumental space of the martyrs would remain unchanged. Third Concept: In this concept which was presented after the historical excavations near the mausoleum, preservation of the historical spaces was the main approach thus covering the excavation area was suggested and a museum was designed beside the area instead of the monumental space of martyrs; more transparency and lower heights were attended; the entrance to the garden was overstated; one of the minarets of “Soleyman Shah” mosque was omitted and the amphitheater remained as before; Fourth Concept: In order to create more transparency and more friendly urban space, the façades were changed; the entrance was made lighter and more outstanding; the roof of the excavation area and “SharbatKhane” became more modern with lower height; the amphitheater was omitted; “Hoseynieh” and “Soleyman Shah” mosque remained as before. Fifth Concept: Spaces became more transparent; Management area for the excavation site was designed beside the entrance of the garden; the relation between “Hoseynieh” and Sheikh Safi complex was limited to mere visual connection. Sixth Concept: Transparency of spaces remained as before; a dome was designed on the excavation area of “SharbatKhane”; entrances of the garden and “Allah Allah” dome were designed; Modern stairs were designed for the excavation area; “Hoseynieh” and mosque remained as before. Seventh Concept: In this concept it was decided to adjoin “Ali Qapo” square to the design limits and also to change the place of Sheikh Safi Street so that it would reach the square at its corner. Therefore renovation of the square and “Ali Qapo” historical entrance became a significant part of the design. Also instead of the old mosque of “Ali Qapo” district, a new mosque would be built at the north west of the design area. Spaces such as the traditional café, the book fair, the tourism center, the grand garden entry, the administrative section, the commercial spaces, the bank, and the parking would also be constructed here. Phase one of the excavation area and cultural space includes originals and the documents section (in northern part) as well as a museum (in southern part) which are separated by a main garden. Some classrooms are also provided in the east side of the garden. In this paper it is discussed that despite the dominant tendency of the authorities, such as the local governments, toward commercial plans and the little support from Iran’s National Heritage Organization, it is possible to propel the funds toward cultural and preserving designs. Some guidelines are suggested including financial independency of designed spaces, analysis of previous policies, preventing hasty restorations, educating the employers through academic theses, and counseling with scholars and experts to ensure the employers’ satisfaction.