Iranian and Italian architecture feature in an original web series produced by the Embassy of Italy in Tehran.
Produced by the Embassy of Italy in Tehran in collaboration with Domus, ‘Domus Eyes on Iran‘ is an original web series which aims to retrace, across 10 episodes ranging from the 1950s to the present day, the major moments in the historic magazine’s interest in achievements in Iran by Iranian and Italian architects and designers, highlighting Iran’s significant role in the history of modern architecture and design and its continuous and fruitful interactions with the Italian architecture and design scene.
Each episode takes its cue from a Domus article dealing with a work or event realized in Iran over the last seventy years, exploring the details and following up on its subsequent developments.
The series is currently in its seventh episode. The next three episodes will be dedicated to works by contemporary Iranian architects and to real jewels of world architecture, such as Gio Ponti’s Villa Namazee in Tehran.
- Episode 1 ‘Villa for an Older Brother’: the first episode is dedicated to the works of a young Iranian architect, Alireza Taghaboni, and in particular to his ‘Villa for an Older Brother‘, located in the Lavasan district of Tehran. The episode contains an exclusive interview with the architect of the Italian Ambassador in Tehran, Giuseppe Perrone.
- Episode 2 ‘Gaetano Pesce and the Tehran National Library’: the second instalment of the series explores the features of Pesce’s avant-garde design of the National Library of Tehran, with commentary from the distinguished architect from La Spezia. This project was a forerunner of architectural trends that would only become truly established in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the use of non-linear, fragmented spaces that create a sensation of controlled chaos and unpredictability.
- Episode 3 ‘Architecture Meets Nature by Sara Kalantary & Reza Sayadian’: this episode analyzes the relationship between Iranian architecture and nature, through an analysis of the works of the architects Sara Kalantary and Reza Sayadian, starting with the ‘Saba’ apartments, a residential building located in the Heravi district of Tehran. In the video-documentary, the ‘Saba’ apartments, an example of low-cost and eco-sustainable urban design, are compared to Giuseppe Terragni’s historic 1930s rationalist building ‘Casa del Fascio’ in Como.
- Episode 4 ‘Orsi Khaneh: A Window on Iran’s Unique Blend of History & Modernity’: in this episode, the fusion of history and modernity in Iranian architecture is examined through the reinterpretation of the ‘Orsi’ window by the architects Keivani in the innovative design of the ‘Orsi Khaneh‘ residential building (2015), located in the Ghisha district of Tehran. The video-documentary also analyzes the elements of sun and Mithraism involved in the design of the ‘Mehr Khaneh’ apartment and the recreation of the vertical garden at the centre of the ‘Pardis Khaneh‘ project (2017), comparable to the ‘Foresta Verticale‘ (Vertical Forest) by architect Boeri.
- Episode 5 ‘Qajar Tehran. The Glass & Ceramics Museum and the Italian Residence’: beginning with the article about the Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran which appeared Domus in 1980, this episode illustrates the peculiar history of the Villa Cagiara located in the city centre of the Iranian capital, which belonged to a Prime Minister from modern Iranian history, Ahmad Qavam, and was transformed in the late 1970s into the Glass and Ceramics Museum.
- Episode 6 ‘Tehran’s Contemporary Museum: The Anti-Monument’: the sixth episode of the series is dedicated to the incredible history of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA). In the course of the episode, we hear directly from Kamran Diba, the building’s designer, about the fascinating genesis of the museum, located in a strategic position in the Iranian capital, to the west of what is now known as Laleh Park.
- Episode 7 ‘Isfahan Persian Gardens and New Urban Trends’: once known as the ‘garden city’, Isfahan, in central Iran, is caught between new urban demands, which have led to the slow but inexorable destruction of its green spaces, and architectural trends that challenge its identity. Through the works of the Iranian architect Shervin Hosseini, originally from Isfahan, the episode describes the city’s evolution, in which the architectural restrictions imposed by the municipality do not seem to have curbed the decline in the green spaces that have historically been the city’s distinguishing feature.