A residential quarter (mahallih) center in a traditional city of Iran acts as a mediator between the city center and home, a mediator between social life and private life of human beings, where he enters it after leaving family circle. As a mahallih center has a direct relation with public life, it can be a step for manifestation of art in society. The mahalleh centers in traditional city of Kashan, Iran, are good examples of how art can be combined with the built environment and become an integrated part of it. A mahalleh center is usually located in the middle of the residential quarter and has a mosque, a bath, hoseynieh, stores, in some cases ab-anbar (water reservoir) and other public facilities around main passageway. Its architecture and related arts (paintings, wall decoration, sculptural features, etc.) play an important role in making it a place to be loved and remembered.Architectural characteristics like simplicity/complexity, unity/plurality and territoriality enrich spatial experiences and provide lively frameworks for spatial events. The mahallih centre is a place where neighbours gather together and make their collective memories especially in rites and ceremonies. In this paper on the basis of a field research the physical and spatial characteristics of the quarters’ centers are being analyzed. It is shown how architecture and its related arts can change a simple road to be one of the most memorable places in human’s social life.
|Keywords:||Kashan, Art, Architecture, Residential Quarter Center, Public Place, Collective Memory|
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Shahid Beheshty University, Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Graduate Student, Faculty of Architecture, Shahid Beheshty University, Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
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