عنوان مقاله [English]
Problem statement: Having fundamental objectives regarding the historic urban landscape is the basis of a comprehensive understanding and approach towards identification, evaluation, preservation, and management of the historical urban landscapes; therefore, the material and spiritual significance and potentials that could shape the historical character of a city as urban landscapes are the primary notions that should be identified and recognized. There are valuable research studies regarding Iranian architecture and Persian Gardens, as well as the viewpoints in gardens or pavilions. However, urban viewpoints have not been addressed separately, as one of the valuable aspects of urban architecture. In historic reports and notes made by European orientalists, the importance of these locations was not neglected; yet they have only been indirectly highlighted in these reports. Urban viewpoints are significant in ways that they could be necessary for affecting our perception and understanding of the landscapes and the reciprocal relation between the viewer and the views. Since the most significant urban developments occurred during the Safavid era in Isfahan and this city has been a suitable urban model for other cities in Iran because of its architectural design and landscape features, it can serve as a research site. While Isfahan has been the capital of two important historical eras, most of its urban landscapes, including its architectural elements, are either distinguished or has undergone drastic urban changes. Based on existing evidence in Isfahan, most of the historic urban landscapes in this city date back to the Safavid era.
Research objective: The present article aims to identify the concepts and viewpoint-driven significance of urban architecture in the construction of the Safavid capital.
Research method: The research method in this article is based on archival research and field studies and the emphasis has been on historic textual resources. For this purpose, reports and prevailing concepts in the specialized literature regarding urban architecture were revised according to the extant evidence from the Safavid period to identify and understand the viewpoint-driven significance of the Safavid architecture in Isfahan.
Conclusion: Surveying the urban architecture in Isfahan indicated that Safavid designers had a strong will to integrate urban spaces with nature; thus, through the use of rectangular geometry, water runnels, and tree rows in all urban spaces, they aimed to emphasize the places that resembled gardens. Therefore, Isfahan could be seen as a vast garden, where the architectural edifices in its urban landscape were designed semi-open and semi-closed to create certain viewpoints. These viewpoints embodied the notion that “a prototypical Persian Garden was a model for urban architecture and Isfahan during the Safavid era, hence, making Isfahan a city of spectacles and sightseeing.