Friday, November 12, 2010
The Boroujerdi House is a historic house in Kashan, Iran located on Alavi Street. The house was built in the 19th century by architect Ostad Ali Maryam Kashani, at the order of a wealthy merchant, Haj Seyed Hassan Natanzi (who was nicknamed Boroujerdi because of the trade he did with the city of Boroujerd). The Boroujerdi family were seeking the hand in marriage of a girl who came from the affluent Tabatabaei family, for whom Ostad Ali had built The Tabatabaei House some years earlier. The condition set for the marriage was the construction of a house as beautiful as The Tabatabaei House. It is distinguished by a six sided wind tower and a large hall decorated with mirrors. The unique features of the House have resulted in a minimal amount of renovation and alteration of the original structure.
The house took eighteen years to build using 25 workers, painters, and architects, although some accounts place the number of craftsmen as high as 150. It is considered a true masterpiece of Persian traditional residential architecture. It consists of a rectangular beautiful courtyard, delightful plaster and stucco works of fruits and flowers and wall paintings by the royal painter Kamal-ol-Molk and three 40 meter tall wind towers which help cool the house to unusually cool temperatures. The House is famous for its unusual shaped wind towers which are made of stone, brick, sun baked bricks and a composition of clay, straw and mortar.
It has 3 entrances, and all the classic signatures of traditional Persian residential architecture. The entrance to the building is in the form of an octagonal vestibule with multilateral skylights in the ceiling. Near the entrance is a five-door chamber with intricate plasterwork. Following a narrow corridor, a vast rectangular courtyard opens up. The courtyard has a pool and is flanked by trees and flowerbeds. Also in the vicinity of the corridor is a reception area sandwiched in between two rooms. Due to the high amount of sunlight these two rooms receive, they were mostly utilized during the winter months.
In the east and northeast area of the property lie the kitchen, rooms and stairways to the basement. The wind towers allowed for the basements to consistently benefit from a flow of cool air. On the southern side is a large covered hall adorned with many reliefs, artistic carvings and meshed windows which was the main area for various celebrations. It consists of a raised platform on its far side and would normally by reserved for the more important guests.
Since exceptional attention has been paid to all minute architectural details demanded by the geographical and climatic conditions of the area, the house has attracted considerable attention of architects and recognition from Iranian and foreign scientific and technical teams. One relief of the House, quite justifiably reads, “Persian craftsmen made gold out of dust.” While the House used to be a private home, it is now is open to the public as a museum. The museum is arranged with four sides, for reception, ceremonies, residential halls and rooms.