The Reflection of the West Culture in the Life Style and the Architecture of the Houses in the Late Qajar Dynasty in Hamadan

Document Type : Research Article




The term lifestyle which comprises social, cultural, and economic elements has a profound impact on
behavioral patterns and mental attitudes of individuals in the society and affects the architecture of their
living place. In the recent decades, the discourse of housing choice pattern and living space in relation to
lifestyle as a new subject has attracted the attention of the researchers and scholars in various fields of study
including architecture and urbanism. One of the manifestations of the lifestyle is the quality of housing
choice pattern as well as the quality of the living place which in turn exerts an influence on the architecture
of the houses. The present study sets out to investigate the extent to which western lifestyle affected people`s
lifestyle in the late Qajar dynasty in Hamadan and the influence that this kind of lifestyle had on the
architecture of the houses in this period. The study employed a historical-interpretive analysis methodology.
The data for the study were collected using library resources and field study. The samples for the field
study were selected based on purposive sampling. In order to select the sample houses, all the documented
houses which dated back to the late Qajar period and lent themselves to field study were examined. As
many as six houses which displayed greater architectural developments due to lifestyle changes were
selected. More specifically, the houses which were affected more profoundly by the western lifestyle in
terms of architectural features in three macro-level, middle level, and micro-level were selected. The results
showed that lifestyle changes occurred in social, cultural, and economic levels which in turn overshadowed
the architecture of the houses, too. These changes were first demonstrated in the houses belonging to the
grandees and merchants. The architectural evolution in these houses was examined at macro, middle, and
micro levels. At the macro level, the simplicity of form and the elimination of multiple courtyards were
significant. At the middle level, an evolution in the organization of the interior space and its development
was observed. Finally, at the micro level, the symbolic significance of some architectural elements such as
columns, stairs, and decoration was notable.


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