An Architectural Heritage "Mirza Shafieh" Complex

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه




coming up under this title in every issue of "SOFFEH" is the result of a team work by students in the course on the introduction to the Islamic Art and Architecture. An exercise of this course is a complete documentation of a building from the Iranian Islamic period. The purpose of the documentaion is to bring the students into direct contact with the buildings of the past and drawing their attention to its spaces and details. In other words it is to make an acquaintance with traditional architecture.The selected building for this issue is the thirteenth century H.G (Eighteenth century A.D) "Mirza-Shafieh Timche" and caravansaria complex, which was built in the Tabriz bazzar during the Quajar dynasty.The buildings related to the Iranian bazaars are an important section of the architecture of the Islamic period in this country, yet only minor research work has been carried out on this subject. Although the fame of Iranian bazaars are worldwide, only a few books or articles are known to have been written on this subject.It is not hidden to the eyes of the visitors that the Iranian bazaars and their related buildings are still active and people work and procurate their lives in them, yet, they have been sevearly damaged and have faced a lot of alterations. Unfortunatly the apperance of some sections of our bazaars have changed completely and as some have lost their true identity and authenticity, the rest are going through mass abolition. It should be noted, however, that the lack of attention to such masterpieces is notably due to the ignorance and lack of knowladge of architectural and cultural values of such buildings. As a result the study and presentation of such buildings could improve the architectural and landscapeing knowladge of architects and designers, notably those who work on such large commercial and cultural complex buildings. This would lead to a major step forward in the struggle for the recovery of the identity of Islamic architecture. On the other hand the presentation of such buildings may improve their value before the public eye and those responsible and thus lead to their protection and restoration.This documentation has been carried out by Mr. All Keshavars Garabolagh Asad-Allah Talebi and Ali Sharif-Abadi Ismacili in the academic year of 1368 (1989).The "Mirza Shafieh" complex.The "Mirza Shafieh" complex is surrounded by the "Yamini", "Dalaleh-zan" and "Rasteh" bazaars and has access to them all. The building, a composition of open and closed spaces, has three different parts.The first part consists of a covered and alongated "Timche" in the east side of the complex. The second, part is a caravansaria which has an open and wide courtyard; and finally a small "Bazaarchc" which is situated to the west of thecomplex and just beneath the caravansarias' courtyard. Two main bazaars run along the sides of this complex and the enterance of the large "Timche" is situated along another bazaar which finally embodies the complex. As a result, this complex has become in close connection with the bazaar and its trading system.Architectural points of the building.The "Mirza-shafieh" complex is surrounded by two bazaars and a caravansaria sharing its perimeter walls with them and also linking to them by three enterances. However,like all other traditional buildings this complex is rather closed off and independent from the outside. This is in such a way that a passer by could walk along this large and articulated complex without noticing it. It is so that all that which the designer has to present to his spectators happens to be inside the complex. This standard has also been set for the composition of the different sections of the building as the relation between the different sections of this complex is very weak. In other words, although the "Timche" and the "Bazaarche" are on the route of the spectator and both act as an introductory space to the main courtyard; by closing-off the two interior connecting gates, this complex may be devided into three seperate sections.Inspite of the lack of connection between these different sections, their composition is based upon a delicate order. The main axis of the courtyard is perpendicular to that of the "Timche''. At the point of their conjunction, the "Timche" widens while it rises above the normal hight of its surrounding spaces and at the same time is transversed. With such composition an important center of gravity appears in the "Timche" and successively in the complex. Here, on the main axis of the courtyard and in this important space, the designer has errected one of his enterances.The main axis of the "Timche" is crossed at a different point by the main axis of the "Bazaarche". At this point, the rule set by the architect is repeated. Here the space is widened and rises to an elaborate roof. However, this modification has been so carefully worked out that it does not, in any way, effect the glamoure of the point mentioned earlier. As a result, the opening is only twords the "Bazaarche" and also the hight of the roof of this space and the work undertaken in its design is less than that of the latter.Another major characteristic in the design of this complex is the purity of the forms of each space. The "Timche" has an alongated but harmonic form. The courtyard is octagonal and the "Hojrehs" at its corners have been typically formed. The "Bazaarche" has an orderly and lineal form and finally the rest of the spaces such as the "Hojrehs" are designed upon a gometric and ordered pattern.The caravansaria, a courtyard built in two stories, is encricled by a number of "Hojrehs". Here the designer has set a stairway between every few "Hojrehs". These