Art: An Integrated Part of Built Environment: Case Study of Kashan Residential Quarters' Centers

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A residential quarter (mahallih) center in a traditional city of Iran acts as a mediator between the city center and home, a mediator between social life and private life of human beings, where he enters it after leaving family circle. As a mahallih center has a direct relation with life, it can be a step for manifestation of art in society. The mahalleh centers in the traditional city of Kashan, Iran, are a good example of how art can be combined with the built environment and become an integrated part of it. A mahalleh center usually is located in the middle of the residential unit and has a mosque, hoseynieh, stores, and in some cases ab-anbar (water reservoir) around a gathering place. This part is almost the liveliest part of local residence because of its liveliness, commuters and intercourses that it has. Its physical and spatial arrangement is such that it calls inhabitants to stop and have a short chat in there with other fellows. Its architecture and related arts(paintings, wall decoration, sculptural features, etc.) play a great role in making it a place to be loved and remembered. The mahallih centre is a place where neighbours gather together and make their collective memories. In this paper we will represent local residential centres of Kashan and analyse the physical and spatial characteristics of them. We’ll show how architecture and its related arts can change a simple road to be one of the most memorable places in human's social life.


Keywords: Art, Architecture, Residential Quarter Center, Collective Memory
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Art: An Integrated Part of Built Environment


Dr. Zahra Ahari

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Shahid Beheshty University
Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

I studied architecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University, and had a MS. Then I obtained a PhD in Urban design from there. I had done a great deal of research in several field including housing, urban design and history of architecture and urbanism. I have some published books and many published papers. My special field of study during last ten years has been architecture and urban desing of iranian cities and I've published three books on the language of urban design in Isfahan of Safavid Empire. I've worked for research institutes during last 20 Years and I'm assistant professor at the faculty of architecture, Shahid Beheshty University .

Fatemeh Goldar

Graduate Student, Faculty of Architecture, Shahid Beheshty University
Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)


Ref: A09P0651