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Brief Explanation / Outline of Project

Title The Cultural luminary …… An international cultural centre set in a purpose designed parkland that presents a journey that will broaden visitor’s cultural awareness.


Why is it not possible to share cultures from around the world in Iran?


The Cultural luminary …… An international cultural centre set in a purpose designed parkland that presents a journey that will broaden visitor’s cultural awareness.


Why is it not possible to share cultures from around the world in Iran?


When I visited UK, I was impressed by the number of international exhibitions that are held every year representing and celebrating different countries cultural values such as movies, arts, social hubs, music… When I went to the cultural centre in Iran and visited various exhibitions, this question came to my mind as to why Iran cannot share other countries cultural values as well as its own?

This cultural isolation is partially due to governments attempt to sensor Iran from the outside world. As a result  people become less culturally aware due to this restriction.

My cultural centre will provide a valuable opportunity to explore various cultural insights from around the world. Iranians are innately curious people and embrace other cultures (contrary to the government wishes of imposing of anti western resentment). Ironically Iran is blessed with a rich cultural heritage but it receives very few tourists throughout the year. After I investigated this matter, I find out that after the 1979 revolution of Iran, very negative media attention was given to the country due to the political tensions.This has led me to conceive an idea to reawaken the forgotten treasures of Iran and to reinterpret them in contemporary ways.This has led me to conceive an idea to reawaken the forgotten treasures of Iran and to reinterpret them in contemporary ways.

Context / Rationale

As there is limited freedom in Iran for expression, I thought about alternative ways to convey expression. Every person in Iran can help in their own way.

Though architecture, design and our concept, I can impact people and the way that they think. To protest against injustice does not always have to be through violent means. A sign of protest can be shown and expressed through the arts in the form of music, poetry, painting or architecture.


“We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!”


Goodreads. 2015. ‘A Quote By حافظ‘. [online]. Available at: <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22785-we-have-come-into-this-exquisite-world-to-experience-ever&gt; [27/4/2015]

The Partition

I came up with the concept that I can represent the awakening to cultural ideas through the expression of light. Darkness reflects the censorship in Iran and the blocking of knowledge. Lightness in our project reflects an open mind, an awakening to others ideas and cultures.

To emphasise the use of light is at the heart of the project where visitors move from darkness to light. I decided to divide the centre into two, north and south facing. The line that divided the north and south is made of brick walls to prevent any light flowing through.

Reception area

When you enter the building, there is a reception area that guides you through a tunnel, The tunnel leads you to then to the relative darkness of the north zone where cultural stories are limited and often censored without revealing the true nature of the cultural stories  being exhibited.

Zone of darkness

In north end there are videos and exhibition showing the dark ages of different countries in each exhibition, depicting war, famine, injustice.

There are three rooms in the north end, the third room is slightly lighter than the others and leads to the south end which has brick walls and a small glass panel that brings in natural light.

Zone of Lightness:

As you pass the arch wall (Persian style), you enter the south end (zone of knowledge) which has three rooms. The first one is called ‘freedom of express’. You can see different exhibitions of different religions, arts, music from various cultures displayed for each art festival. Around this area is all glass that brings natural light during the day, and artificial light is used in the evening. In second room there is a library, that has another arched wall opening. In this room, there is a library that has book and resources related to the centres exhibition along with various cultural books. The third room that leads to the amphitheatre is used for art workshops and display of the visitors painting/arts inspired by the exhibition. The key thing here is that there is no censorship and ideas are freely expressed.


Here the interior literally breaks out into the landscaped gardens. In this way the exterior and interior and interrelated. We are led to the open roof amphitheatre where theatre and concerts are performed  which is especially pleasant during the summer months.

The cultural centre exterior and interior leads the visitors by the light though the whole journey The lights are a method  to lead people to carry on their journey in the cultural centre.

Key Areas of Research

Architecture Sun studyTraditional Iranian architecture and compare with the modern architecture in Iran

Contemporary architecture in Iran and comparing it with other western architecture

Examples Like Zaha Hadid and Hadi Mirmirian

Looking at the issues of contemporary architecture

Case studies exploring social hubs that reflect a country’s identity (anywhere globally)

Investigating why the Persian contemporary architecture has lost its identity?

Do other countries in west or east face the same problem or see it as a problem?

Investigating  various cultural centres structural design case studies in different places around the world

Exhibition designs and structures

Modern amphitheatre structures

Intended Outcomes of Project


The cultural centre allows people to experience a journey that opens visitors minds and opens them to new cultures and traditions.

Tourism attraction

The cultural centre design aim is be a major international cultural hub that will attract more tourists to Iran. This will results in increased participations in international exhibitions and film festivals also.

Thinking wiser

The strong initial concept in design will help to give a more effective end result. The Light of Knowledge reflects this matter as we hope people will have a deep insight and greater cultural awareness by learning from the exhibitions, library and classes within this place. As visitors engage in the cultural centre, it should create a feeling of tolerance within them regardless of their own personal views and religious backgrounds. In Iran, this can be seen as a paradox – with the governmental restrictions and discriminations (representing the darkness of ignorance) based on gender, ethnicity and religion.


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