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Azadi Tower – Timeless Middle Eastern Elegance

In this post let’s go to the country of Iran, a place where European and Middle Eastern cultures meet. Iran is filled with structures which show its inclination towards the Middle Eastern architecture as well as European architecture. The structures in Tehran elegantly combine the curves from the Middle East and the structural balance from the west.  In post we are going discuss Azadi Tower, formerly known as Shahyad Tower.

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Design and the Designer

Some of the readers may see a bit of Lotus Temple (New Delhi) and Sydney Opera House in the structure too, the reason for that is use of the “iwan” style of the arch in structures which adorns the Lotus Temple from all sides. The structure was designed by architect Hossein Amanat, who combined structural modern architecture with traditional Iranian influences. It should be noted that Azadi Tower is not just his major work but also his first design fresh out of college. The design was chosen after nationwide design competition, it must be said there were entries from outside the country too.  The structure was built to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the first Persian Empire.

Ideas and Concept

In an interview the designer said that the structure showed a upward movement signifying his country’s trajectory for the future. He combined post-Islamic Iranian architecture with that of the Sassanid and Achaemenid eras, this was a combination which had never been tried to replicate at that time. The structure came as a breath of fresh air at that time, whereas the West was busy with building structures which touched sky. The structure carried an elegance which still lingers today, the design has since been replicated since then, notable at UN headquarters in New York. Beyond the pretty structure, this also houses a museum underneath it, the museum houses many exhibits from different time of the Persian Empire. The Tower also has been a venue for   International Day of Peace, German Unity Day, and more events which it hosts all around the year.

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