University of Tehran
Iranian cultural heritage, handicrafts and tourism organization
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Tehran University is the first center for higher education in Iran that was founded in 1934 and is one of the oldest universities all around the world. At the moment, it encircles 25 faculties, 9 campuses and 11 research centers. This university is initially established by merging following schools and educational centers in Tehran: Dār al-Fonun, School of Political Sciences, Medicine School, Agriculture & Rural Industries higher school, Mozzafar Agricultural School (the first agricultural school in Iran), School of Industries and Art (founded by Kamal-ol-Molk), higher school of Architecture, higher school of Law and some other higher education centers. French higher education institutions were taken as models for Tehran University by Iranian, French, Russian and Armenian architects. Syllabus and courses of the present School of Fine Arts were planned based on the programs of École des Beaux Institute. In 1971, the central library of the university opened, the building of which was designed by Abdol-aziz Farman-farmayan. The library has now a collection of 700,000 books and 1800 magazines from all over the world. In addition, every department and most of their groups enjoy their separate professional library. This university is a model for other universities in Iran and has had a significant role in formation and development of Tehran city. The oldest building of Tehran University is Soleymanieh Palace in Karaj which has been built in early Qajar era and enjoys from outstanding painting decorations. Tehran University is the outcome of several generations of Iranian and international architects that is, in this regard, of outstanding values in comparison to other similar cases all around the world. Its buildings indicate three significant stages of Persian architecture: 1. Traditional stage; 2. Transition stage; 3. Modern stage. These stages of Persian architecture display an outstanding collection of modern architecture which is a mixture of Persian and European styles in case of plans, facades and construction details.
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
The Architecture style of Tehran University was inspired by European style and combined with the traditional Iranian Architecture, therefore, the modern materials such as concrete was set next to Iranian elements in architecture. Furthermore, it played a significant role regarding urban planning of the city of Tehran and Modern movements in the architecture.
Tehran university is a synthesis of Iranian and global architecture with great creativity which still maintain its authenticity and in terms of environmental design and different schools and campuses is considered as a unique architectural example, despite having a proper harmony according to the function it has differences in the detail, while throughout the world, each of these schools has a long history, for example, School of Pharmacy has a Museum regarding medicinal plants and it is one of the oldest museums in the world.
Iranian and foreign architects and designers were among the best and the most prominent people in the world. School of Medicine and different venues of anatomy have the oldest Medical patterns. Furthermore, it has a unique library in the region and hosts different students from different locations. It also worth mentioning that it is a main and the oldest university in the Middle East.
Criterion (ii): Considering economic, social and cultural evolutions in Iran after the Qajar era, the architectural style of Tehran University was inspired from the European architecture and is known as the Systematic Architecture of Pahlavi I era in Iran that is combined with ideas of Modern movements in architecture. Opening of Tehran University coincided with the acquaintance of Iranian with the West which made this university as the main hub for connections with the western civilization and new sciences.
Criterion (vi): The general layout of Tehran University and its architecture is a combination of western architecture with the Persian traditional architecture which illustrates a special style. Emergence of modern architecture in Iran which also reflects Iranian traditional architecture proves the high knowledge of architects and constructors of the university e.g. concrete, one of the most prominent elements of modern architecture, was widely used in construction of the buildings while at the same time, one of the most prominent elements of the Iranian traditional architecture, lancet arch, has also used in façade.
The oldest building of Tehran University is Soleymanieh Palace in Karaj which has been built in early Qajar era and enjoys from outstanding painting decorations. Tehran University is the outcome of several generations of Iranian and international architects that is, in this regard, of outstanding values in comparison to other similar cases all around the world. Its buildings indicate three significant stages of Persian architecture: 1. Traditional stage; 2. Transition stage; 3. Modern stage. These stages of Persian architecture display an outstanding collection of modern architecture which is a mixture of Persian and European styles in case of plans, facades and construction details.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrity
In terms of design, functionality, and materials Tehran University has kept its authenticity and illustrates a special transition style.
Comparison with other similar properties
University of Tehran is comparable with the University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia which is situated on a hill overlooking the city. It formed its own well-defined urban area of two components within the old town of Coimbra. The University of Coimbra demonstrates a specific urban typology and illustrates the interdependence between city and university. Also, Tehran University has played a significant role in the development of the city of Tehran and with its unique style of architecture which combined the idea of modern architecture with traditional Iranian elements and introduced a new image to the city.
Furthermore, The University of Coimbra — Alta and Sofia has played a unique role in the formation of academic institutions in the world through dissemination of its norms and institutional set-up, so as Tehran University which has been a model for other universities and educational institutes throughout Iran and other parts of the world.
In addition, University of Tehran is comparable with Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in terms of combination of modern and historical elements. Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México constitutes a unique example of 20th-century modernism integrating urbanism, architecture, engineering, landscape design and fine arts with references to local traditions, especially to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past, while University of Tehran is also involved in the Modern movement alongside with taking traditional elements in Iranian architecture, creating a unique style in the architecture.
Also, Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas is an outstanding example of the Modern Movement in architecture. The university campus integrates the large number of buildings and functions into a clearly articulated ensemble, including masterpieces of modern architecture, so as Tehran university that affected the city development and urban planning by bringing modern ideas from the Europe and being involve in the modern movement of the city, even though, Tehran university has combined this modernity with traditional ideas in architecture in a very creative way.