The Effect of 18th and 19th Centuries Russian Neoclassical Architecture on the Architecture of Iranian Administrative-Service Buildings (During Qajar and First Pahlavi Eras)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph. D. Student of ArchitectureQazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Professor in Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran.

3 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Art University, Tehran, Iran


Problem Statement: Russo-Persian Wars were one of the important factors in understanding the modern world by Iranian. Moreover, trips that made by officials to Russia, due to historical and political events after the war, were the main factors in encountering the new world and modernity. Therefore, along with long-standing interactions with Russia, and neighbor neighbor countries in various fields, it seems that by concluding numerous contracts, in addition to the increasing presence of the Russians in Iran (especially in the northern regions) and the construction of various buildings with the architectural knowledge of that time of Russia (neoclassical architecture), the Iranian proprietors have also constructed monuments with an inspirational Russian style in Iran, by observing the neoclassical structures of Russia, in order to demonstrate the power of their own government.
Purpose: In this regard, the purpose of this study is to examine the role of Russia on using European architecture and western architectural elements in Iran and identify the patterns of Russian neoclassical architecture and retrieve them in the administrative-service buildings of Iran.
Methodology: This is a comparative-qualitative research which uses library, documentary and field studies. Historical-interpretive research method has been used to collect historical theoretical bases and descriptive-analytical research method has been used in the field of architecture.
Conclusion : The results of the research showed that Russia played a very important role
in the entry of western architectural elements into Iran during three stages of «understanding», «observation» and «implementation». Patterns were effective in all three areas of the plan, the volume, and the façade of buildings. Emergence of objective components was more significant than other two components. The most commonly used architectural parameters of this style in Iran›s administrative-service buildings include: the long hallway with numerous rooms around it, the gable roof, the balcony, semicircular and long narrow rectangular windows, and balustrades.


• Adam, R. (1996). ‎Classical architecture: a comprehensive handbook to the tradition of classical style. Classical Architecture, Translation by: Hossein H. Soltanzadeh, et al. Tehran: Daftar- e pajuheshha- ye farhangi.
• Afshar, M. & Mostowfi Ansari, H. M. (1970). Safarname- ye Khosrow mizza be Petersburq va tarikh- e zendegani- ye Abbas Mirza Nayeb al-Saltaneh [Khosrow mizza’s travelogue to Petersburq and the history of the life of Abbas Mirza Nayeb al-Saltaneh, ]. By the efforts of Golban, M. Tehran: Ettehad.
• Bani Masoud, A. (2015). Contemporary architecture of IranIranian Contemporary Architecture. Tehran: Honar- e memari- ye gharn.
• Berman, M. (2000). All that is solid melts into air : the experience of modernity Experience of Modernity. Translation by: M. Farhadpour. Tehran: Tarh- e naghd.
• Chirkin, G. F. (1916). Otchetnaia zapiska o poezdke vesnoi 1916 g. v Astrabadskuiu I Mazanderanskuiu provintsii Severnoi Persii nachal’nika Pereselencheskogo Upravleniia. In G. F. Chirkina. Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv [Russian State History Archive], fond 391, opis 6, delo 306.
• Etemad al-Saltaneh, M. H. (1988). Montazam Nasseri's History, . by By the efforts of Mohammad M. Ibrahim I. Rezvani.Tehran: Donya- ye ketab.
• Etesam, I. (1995). Barresi- ye memari va shahrsazi- ye moaser- e Iran [Studying Contemporary Iranian architecture and urban planning with Europe]. Cogress proceedings of Bam Congress of Architecture and Urban History. Tehran: Cultural Heritage Organization.
• Gyetvai-Balogh, A. (2007). Architecture of the 19th century and the Turn of the century. Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Available from: (accessed 15 July 2017)
• Jamalzadeh, M. (2005). Tarikh- e ravabet- e Iran va Russia [History of Relations between Russia and Iran], . Tehran: Sokhan Publishing.
• Jaubert, P. A. (1821). Voyage en Armenie et Persc. Paris: Ducrocq.
• Kamelniya, H. & Mahdinezhad, M. J. (2012). Getting to know contemporary architectureIntroduction to Contemporary Architecture. Tehran: Elm- e memar.
• KiyaniKiani, M. (2014). Memari- ye dore- ye Pahlavi- ye aval [Architecture of the first Pahlavi era]. Tehran: Moasese- ye motaleat- e tarikh- e moasre.
• Mahboubi Ardakani, H. (1991). Tarikh- e moasesat- e tamadoni- ye jaded dar Iran [History of New Civilization Institutions in Iran]. Tehran: University of Tehran.
• Mirzaei, M. (2017). Tarikhche- ye Brigade va Divisions az Colonel Domantavich be Mirpanj Reza Khan Savadkouhi [History of the Cossack Brigade and the Divisions from Colonel Domantavich to Mirpanj Reza Khan Savadkouhi]. Vol. I. Tehran: Elm Publications.
• Moghtader, R. (1993). The A Hundred Years of Modernity Modernization in Iran’s urban planning and Architecture and Urban Development. Iranian Journal Magazinename, (42): 259-270.
• Mosalmaniyan Qobadiyani, R. & Mosalmaniyan Qobadiyani, B. (2008). Asnadi az ravabet- e Iran va Russia az safaviye ta Ghajari- ye [Documents of Iran-Russia. Relations from Safavid to Qajar]. By the efforts of Ahmadi, H. Tehran: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
• Nouraei, M. & Andreeva, E. (2009). Russian Migrants and Their Settlements in Iran in the Early 20th Century: A New Stage of Colonization. Historical Researches, (4): 21 – 36.
• Pakdaman, B. (1994). Negahi be gerayeshha- ye memari dar Iran [A brief look at the ways and trends of architecture in TehranIran: ]. In Tehran Book, Vol. 4. Tehran: Roshangar Publishing.
• Qaraqozloo, N. (2007). Eslahat va tajadod dar asr- e ghajar [Reforms and Modernization in the Qajar era]. Santa Catarina (Brazil): Typotyl.
• Qaziha, F. (2001). Documents of Iran-Russia Relations from Naser al-Din Shah Period to Qajar Falls. Tehran: Ministry of Foreign Affairs publication.
• Qozanlou, J. (1983). Jang- e dahsale- ye Iran va Russia [Iran and Russia's Decade of war]. Tehran: Book World Donya- ye ketab.
• Rajabi, P. (1956). Memari- ye Iran dar asr- e Pahlavi [Iranian Architecture in Pahlavi era]. Tehran: National University of Iran (Shahid Beheshti).
• Shvidkovsky, D. (1996). The Empress and the Architect. New Haven: Yale University Press.
• Shvidkovsky, D. (2017). Russian Architecture of the Nineteenth Century. In The Companions to the History of Architecture, Volume III, Nineteenth-Century Architecture. Edited by M. Bressani. McGill University, and Christina Contandriopoulos, Université du Québec à Montréal.
• Tajbakhsh, A. (1958). Tarikh- e ravabet- e siasi- ye Iran va Russia dar nime- ye aval- e gharn- e 19 [History of political relations between Iran and Russia in the first half of the nineteenth century]. Tabriz: World Bookstore PublishingKetabforushi- ye donya.
• Vigel, F. (1928). Zapiski. Vol. 1. Moscow: Krug.
• Zibakalam, S. (2008). Sonat va modernite [Tradition and modernity (Origins of Causing Failure of Reforms and Political Renovation in Iran in Qajar era)]. Tehran: Rozaneh.