year 5, Issue 1 (Spring & Summer 2020)                   CIAUJ 2020, 5(1): 1-21 | Back to browse issues page

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hamzenejad M, nakhaee sharif A, azizi qomi H. Examining the Possibility of Interpreting and Categorizing Iranian-Islamic Cities Using Schultz’s Theory of Genius Loci: Defining the Genius Loci of the Space of Iranian-Islamic Cities and Searching for the Iranian Utopia. CIAUJ. 2020; 5 (1) :1-21
1- Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran ,
2- Master of Architecture Student of Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran
3- Graduated with a master's degree in architecture from the University of Science and Technology, Iran
Abstract:   (454 Views)
According to Christine Norberg Schultz, the architec­tural identity of ancient cities splits itself into four cosmic, romantic, classical, and compound patterns. But does this view applies also to Iranian-Islamic cit­ies? Schultz introduces genius loci of the space in Is­lamic cities in his classification of cosmic cities, but a quick look at the Islamic urban planning system re­veals that this theory can be completely modified, at least in the geographical area of Iran. Do all Iranian cities possess a cosmic spirit? What is the model of Iranian cities according to the structural model of the theory of genius loci? Can the cultural and semantic dimensions of the environmental context proposed in this theory be accepted and generalized to Islamic en­vironments? In this study, an attempt has been made to explore Iranian cities and pinpoint their urban model, and to localize this theory in Iran. The use of indigenous urban patterns in urban design is one of the valuable methods in this category that can help design and shape an identifiable city. Today, due to the spread of designs unrelated to the identity of cit­ies and the disappearance of urban features, this identity is increasingly diminishing. The use of urban patterns is one of the useful methods in recovering this identity and characteristics. To this end, the pre­sent study, using qualitative interdisciplinary studies, phenomenology and library studies and considering climate, landscape and urban studies and the impact of psychology on these components, attempts to pin down the genius loci existing in Iranian-Islamic urban spaces, thus revising Schultz’s theory. Thus, Schultz’s point of view and the theory of genius loci are first examined. This study analyzes Iranian cities using this theory in four forms: romantic, cosmic, classical, and the composition of his choice. According to the typol­ogy of these cities, the studies are carried out from two perspectives: positional and semiotic, and in fact, the structure of Schultz’s theory has furnished a me­dium for defining the indigenous Islamic identity. The results show that all four of Schultz’s models can be defined in Iranian-Islamic cities, so that the character and genius loci of each city are shaped by such factors as climate, beliefs and culture, civilization and past urban planning. Northern cities and some western and northwestern cities with humid climates have the genius loci of romantic places, central cities with dry climates represent the genius loci of cosmic places and northern cities and some central and western cities reveal the genius loci of classical places.
The original idea of the City Garden in Western urban planning to create sustainable complexes was further linked to the environment in the 19th century. This plan in the Middle East contains a spiritual con­cept and was proposed in order to create an earthly paradise. Safavid Garden City, with its composite spirit, is a model for Iranian-Islamic cities as a utopia.
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