Defensive Modernization & Evolution of the Forms in the Urban Structures of Tehran (Naser al-Din Shah Era)

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


The Naserid era changes in Tehran are visible both within the architecture and in the urban aspects, this includes basic developments and evolutions. Modernity and modernization are turning points for a radical revision of the design of the city. After the nineteenth century, and because of the desire of the Nasir al-Din Shah to leave the magnificent modern city (Dar al-Khalafah Naseri), most of the changes are similar to those of the French city. And most innovations happened in Naserid Tehran as the Construction of Tūpkhāneh square, creating new streets, building a defense wall, and employing Austrian and French teachers, which are developments related to this order. With the inspiration of European teachers and planners in designing the city, the style of Vauban architecture was influenced by local and indigenous styles. Modernism has a lot of influences on local styles. By comparing the effects of the new style in Tehran and beyond its boundaries, one can consider the effects of the styles and patterns of the native architecture of the occupied territories. This paper aims to study the adaptive pattern of city development; squares, streets, and other important urban changes inside the borders of Tehran, and to understand the effects of non-local on national landscape influences on the morphological features of the city of Tehran.


Abrahamian, E. (2008). A history of modern Iran. Translated by Fattahi M. E. Ney Publishing. p 36-82.
Adamyat, F. (1976). Amirkabir and Iran. Kharazmi Publication. [In Persian]
Brugsch, H. (1996). In the land of sun. Translated by M. Jalilvand. Markaz Publishing.
Buhler, A. (1858). The science of fortification and castle making. Translated by Tabrizi M. Sh. 423074.
Buhler, A. (1870). Deployment of surrounding and its requirements. Translated by Gholi Khan J. 12120.
Buhler, A. (1876). The science of drafting. Translated by Tabrizi M. Sh. 39463.
Curzon, G. N. (1983). Center of scientific & cultural study affiliated to ministry of Farhang. Translated by Mazandarani Gh. V. 1.
de Certeau, M. (1984). The practice of everyday life. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London.
Dowlat Ellieh Iran Newspaper. (1909). 641. [In Persian]
Etemad-Al-Saltaneh, & Hassan-Ebne-Ali, M. H. (1985). Tarikhe Montazem Nasseri. Edited by Rezvani M. E. Donyaye Ketab Publishing. 3.
Fazeli, N. (2021). Metropolis and Culture (Anthropological research on Urban, Culture and Urban Politics). Parhameh Publishing. p. 120.
Griffith, P. (2006). The Vauban fortification of France. Illustrated by Dennis P. Osprey Publishing.
Gurney, J. (1989). Transformation of Tehran in the Naseri era. Journal of Architecture and Urban Planning. Oxford University. 6.
Habibi, S. M. (1994). The first echo of modernity in Iran. Conversation Journal. 3.
Habibi, S. M. (2020). Constitution and modernity in the city. Scientific Association of Art Studies. University of Tehran. 2.
Haghir, S., & Kamelnia, H. (2019). Theory of Modernity in architecture. Ketab Fekr Nou Publishing.
Heinrisch, B. (1996). In the land of sun. Translated by Jalilvand, M. Markaz Publishing.
Iran Newspaper. (1877). 318. Monday 23rd April.
Lepage, J. D. (2009). Vauban and the French military under Louis XIV: An illustrated history of fortifications and strategies. McFarland & Company. Inc, Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina, and London.
Mostofi, A. (1965). Autobiography or the administrative and social history of Qajar era. Zavar Publishing. 1, p. 126.
Morris, J. (1996). History of city form. Elmo San’at University Publishing.
Najmolmolk, A. (1892). Map of Dar al-Khalafah Naseri Tehran, 2nd edition Printing organisation. Army Geography.
Najafi, M. (2014). Meydan Tūpkhāneh of Dar al-Khalafah Naseri: Iranian Mentality and another approach. Rowzaneh publishing.
Pakzad, J. (2010). The course of ideas in urban planning. Armanshahr Publishing.
Pakzad, J. (2014). History of the city and township in Europe (From the beginning to the industrial revolution). Armanshahr Publishing.
Pollack, J. (1990). Edward Pollack Travelogue (Iran and Iranians). Translated by Jahandari K. Kharazmi Publishion. p. 205.
Shirazian, R. (2018). Old Tehran Composing. Dastan Publishing. 1.