Art And Culture

Contest on Designing Mashhad Urban Spaces

Contest on Designing Mashhad Urban SpacesContest on Designing Mashhad Urban Spaces

The theme of the 2nd Architecture and Urban Design Competition aka ‘Iran Architect,’ is designing urban spaces in the holy city of Mashhad, capital of the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province.

A free national contest, the event aims to identify innovative designers and utilize Iranian-Islamic art in urban design.

Fanavard institution is one of the event organizers, which will contribute to bringing together talented designers, in addition to selecting the best design.

Mere academic certifications are not valid criteria to evaluate professional skills of architects. On the other hand, the insufficient number of professional designers in the field and the need for identification of talent are the reasons for organizing the contest, ISNA quoted an event official (not named) as saying.

The contest will be held at two levels, of which the first will be on two themes.

The first theme is redesigning the road ending at the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam, which is the most important religious site in Iran visited by millions of Muslims from across the world every year. It includes designing pedestrian, bicycle and car track, green spaces, walls and urban view, city patterns, congregation sites, playgrounds, visual corridors and roads.

Urban recreational spaces, gardens, benches, bus stops, subway station entrances, billboards and streetlights design and other environmental elements, comprise the other themes for the contest.

The competitors will propose their designs in the first part of the contest, and those selected will present their works created in the religious ambiance of the city, to the competition secretary.

  Selection Criteria

Participants, who pass the first part, will be able to compete in the second level. The theme for the latter will be determined and announced at the contest. The participants’ understanding and production of architecture knowledge and visual skills in the field will be examined in the final section.

A three-member jury, including head of Architecture Office in Art Institution Amir Mohammadkhani, architect and researcher Azadeh Shahcheraghi, and Urban Design deputy for Tehran Beautification Organization Hamidreza Nili, will select the final designs.

Appropriate transformation of idea to form, harmony between the selected project and the theme, urban and sociological issues, creativity, dynamism and understanding the meaning, symbols and styles of Iranian-Islamic architecture are the criteria upon which the jury will assess the submitted works.  

Enthusiasts should submit their works to the event secretary by November 16. The 3-day national competition will be launched on November 22 at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran.

  Astounding Art

Today, a network of roads goes both around and underneath the Imam Reza shrine, allowing for people to travel to and from the holy site.

The Jami’-e Razavi courtyard is the largest open space in the shrine complex. It can hold over 100,000 people and accommodate large congregations for Friday prayers and major religious events throughout the year.

The mausoleum has grown significantly over the centuries from a small shrine over the grave of the 8th Shia Imam into the one of the largest religious sites in the Islamic world with the creation of some of the most astounding works of Islamic art and architecture.

The architecture and open spaces of Mashhad continue to be shaped by the city’s religiosity and the shrine is the most important and sacred place of worship and prayer in Iran for pilgrims from all over the world.