Typology of Traditional School Architecture with an Emphasis on the Effect of Educational Policies

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University of Ahvaz, Iran

2 Higher Education Complex, Khuzestan University of Jahad, Ahwaz, Iran


Problem statement: one of the necessities of human life is to change and evolve to be excellent, and the only way to achieve it is education. The principled and regular change made to promote religious teachings using comprehensive and universal education by the government was one of the specific characteristics of the Safavid era. To this end, the rulers had established schools and other influential buildings. So, schools have become the most important educational centers at the service of the Shiite religion and one of the most important architectural buildings in this era.
Objective: Given that the educational approach of each era requires educational system and appropriate spaces and it is not clear how the educational system policies affected the architecture elements of the schools constructed in the Safavid era, the present study aims to investigate the effect of educational policies applied in the Safavid era on the physical elements and their coordination with the spatial organization and the architecture of schools of theology and seeks to typify the architecture of the schools constructed in this era considering educational policies.
Method: Given the rise of architecture and the development of educational policies in the Safavid era, which led to the development and expansion of Shiite Islamic schools of theology, in the present study, it is attempted to investigate the position and significance of education in the policies taken by the Safavid dynasty, and to typify the effect of it on the architecture of those schools built in this era using a historical-interpretative method, secondary (desk) study and field study. In this regard, four Safivid schools are selected as targeted samples and then, analyzed in terms of the general characteristics of the building, spatial hierarchy and organization according to the educational position and methodology of this era.
Conclusion: The results of present study indicate that in addition to the comprehensive development of architecture in the Safavid era, education and its position had changed and become different from previous eras. On the other hand, as the Shiite religion was recognized as the formal religion in Iran and the Safavid rulers promoted it adopting different policies, education of Shiite sciences in schools was made available for public use. These changes have resulted in changes in the education system and architecture of schools. Some of these changes are as follows: expansion of school dimensions, increase in the number and quality of chambers and madrasa, attention to the courtyard of schools as a vital element of schools, changes in the entrance system, connection between schools, city and public spaces and connection between school and prayer spaces.


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