A Comparative Study of Architecture and Content of Iran’s Schools from the Traditional Era to the Modern Era

Document Type : Research Article




Education and educational spaces in any eras have had a significant role in the growth and development of
communities. Schools are the best-known educational spaces, which were undergone essential changes over
time in various fields including architecture. Thus, it is important to evaluate these changes during different
eras. The lack of spatial qualities and replacement of other segments are our schools today problem, compared
traditional schools. In other words, the qualities existing in traditional schools are absent in architecture of
today’s schools, and the other elements were replaced. Studies that have been conducted regarding schools
to date show that less attention has been paid to architecture and content changes of schools, and their cause
during different periods. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate these developments and their reasons. This paper
tries to examine these developments and their causes. The aim of this study is to evaluate changes in the
architecture and content of schools and the relationship between them in the traditional, transitional, and
modern era in Iran, compared to each other. In this study, a comparative-analytical research methodology
has been used. Library studies were used to collect data. Dodar, Chahar Bagh, and Aqabozorg schools, from
traditional era, Darolfonun School from transitional era and Markar School from modern era were selected
for comparative analysis purposes; then the required indexes determined for comparison and the evaluations
were carried out. According to the hypothesis of this study, compared to the traditional era, architectural
developments in Iranian schools during the transitional and modern eras are mostly affected by their content;
nevertheless, results do not support the hypothesis and therefore, it was rejected. The results showed that the
architectural changes and the pattern of Iranian schools during the transitional and modern eras compared to
traditional era were associating with an abstraction-oriented imitation from the architecture of the West and
the lack of traditional schools spatial qualities in the architecture of modern schools. Therefore, the same
applies to the elimination of the residential section and the contents had no effect on these changes. In this
way, the Iranian school has maintained the traditional pattern until mid-Qajar, but since this era onwards and
with the establishment of Darolfonun and utilizing the West architecture, the architecture of schools were
change. In other words, the new structures of schools during the transitional and modern eras, was a European
imitation through eliminating the residential section (school-chamber) and converting to the (school-corridorclass).
Thus, the spatial qualities of traditional schools were eliminated, new elements were replaced, and
modern schools with new architectural were formed.


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