The Reflection of Lifestyle Changes in Housing Architecture of Different Occupational Classes of Iranian Oil-Based Company Towns before the 1970s (Case Study: Abadan Company Town)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Architecture, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Department of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Problem Statement: Following the cultural affectability of Iranians from Europe during the Qajar dynasty, the gradual penetration of new architecture and urbanism also happened. The advent of the oil industry in the southern territory of Iran, besides the presence of foreigners who were the conveyers of the changes, turned that gradual penetration into a hasty movement, which led to the creation of a phenomenon called company towns. In these towns, the new lifestyle was based on occupational and social classifications and individuals’ positions in the production system, which demanded a new living receptacle and architectural body.
Research objecive :The study was carried out to demonstrate the lifestyle changes in these town companies, their influence on architecture, and the identification of the resulting modern life pattern that subsequently infiltrated into the heart of our culture.
Research method: Software-assisted scrutiny and qualitative analyses were used in descriptive-historical research. Utilizing AGRAPH software, explanatory graphs obtained from the software were analyzed for the physical identification of sample houses chosen from three different occupational classifications in Abadan company town. Afterward, magazines and bulletins published from 1940 to 1970 were investigated for recognition of lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes were identified by qualitative analysis, and ultimately, the results were obtained by content-descriptive and comparative analysis methods.
Conclusion: It can be cited that changes in factors of consumption, leisure, culture, and identity have had the highest impact on the lifestyle of residents of Abadan oil company town. The creation of different structures in the plan of houses of various occupational classes, elimination of compounds, spatial changes of a kitchen, and ultimately extroversion, and entirely different structures of bungalows at the managers’ level are examples of the reflection of those changes.


Adler, A. (1956). The individual psychology. NY: HarperCollins.
Al-Yasin, A. & Mohammadloo, R. (2016). Oral history of the development of Khuzestan. Tehran: Organization of Records and National Library of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Besharati  Fard, S., Ghaderi, I. &  Pishgahi Fard, Z. (2017). Analysis and explanation of the effects of the oil industry on the spatial structure of the city. Hum Geog Res., (49), 54-62.
Bavar, S. & Bavar, F. (2001). Civilization, industry and architecture. Research Project By order of the Ministry of Petroleum,Tehran.
Dashti, M. (2015). Masjed-Solayman, the origin of the first western housing in Iran. Tehran: Shahr-e Honar.
Ehsani, K. (2008). Civility and social engineering in Khuzestan company towns. Goftogou, (24), 25-32.
Farmanfarmayan, R. & Farmanfarmayan, M. (1998). Blood and Oil: Memoirs of an Iranian Prince (M. Haqighatkhah,Trans.). Tehran: Qaqnos.
Fateh, M. (2005). 50 years of Iranian oil. Tehran: Nashr-e Elm.
Fazeli, M. (2003). Consumption and lifestyle. Qom: Sobh-e Sadegh.
Fooran, J. (1999). History of Iran’s Social Developments (A. Tadayon, Trans.). Tehran: Rasa.
Garner,J. (1984). The model company town. Amherst: MA.
Garshasbi, R. & Marzoughpour, V. (2014). An analysis of the design indicators of English urban neighborhoods in Iran. 1th national conference on architectural, civil and urban development engineering, Tehran.
Ghasemi, I. (2007). Studying the history of one hundred years of oil-rich areas in southern Iran. Tehran: Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institute.
Haeri Mazandarani, M. R. (2008). House, Culture, Nature. Tehran: Urban Planning and Architecture Study and Research Center.
Haq, S. (1999). Space Syntax predict environmental cognition? Proceeding: 2th International Space Syntax symposium, London.
Hassani, M. H., Zokaei, M. S., Talebi, A. & Entezar, A. (2016). Conceptualization of cultural lifestyle. Jame’e Pazuhi-ye Farhangi, (8), 29-34.
Hogan, D. & Farhadi Cheshme Morvari, V. (2019). Return to Iran again. Tehran: Arshadan authorial training.
Movahed, A. (2011). Khab-e Ashofte-ye Naft, Az rouzegaran-e Kohan [Naft’s troubled sleep, a narrative from ancient times]. Bokhara, (88), 65-80.
Peponis, J., Zimring, C. & Choi, Y. K. (1990). Finding the Building in Way Finding. International journal of Environmental Behavior, (22), 75-92.
Rostampour, K., Safirzadeh, Gh. & Nazif, H. (2014). Evolution of social identity as a result of architecture and modern urbanism in oil cities of Khuzestan. Bagh-e Nazar, (29), 32-43.
Simmel, G. (1978). The philosophy of Money. NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Valizadeh, I. (2011). Anglo and Bungalow in Abadan: Seventy-year memories of Farmanbar boy. Tehran: Simia Honar.
Veblen, Th. (1988). The Theory of the Leisure Class. NY: Routledge.
Weber, M. (1968). Economy and Society. Oakland: University of California.
Zargarzadeh Dezfouli, M., Babaei Morad, M., Salari Nasab, N. & Babaei Morad, B. (2013). 2th national conference on architecture and urban planning over, Tehran.
Zavidavianpour, M. R. (2016). Design parameters of the housing architecture of Shahr Nafti Company in Abadan. 3th scientific research congress of new horizons in the field of civil engineering, architecture, culture and urban management of Iran. Tehran.
Zokaei, M. S. (2012). Leisure, Consumption and Society. Tehran: Tisa.