located in the historical city of isfahan in iran, the proposal for a reconstructed ayine khaneh palace (mirror pavillion) by mohammad yazdi rad celebrates the safavid dynasty of persia. the landmark was built in the 16th century, along the southern shore of the zayandehrood river in a garden called saa’dat abad. at that time, isfahan was chosen as the capital of the safavid era — where many majestic palaces, bridges and mosques have been built.

reconstruction of ayin khaneh palace



conducted as an architecture master thesis, mohammad yazdi rad’s project has been mainly focused on recollecting the puzzle pieces of isfahan’s lost urban engineering during the safavid era. by doing so, he wishes to revive persian architecture, establish a cultural structure and promote the touristic infrastructure of the city. working in parallel with reconstruction, the architect has also designed a persian garden around the historical one of sa’adat abad. 

south façade of the mirror pavilion 



up until the 19th century, the mirror pavillion was stable and intact in its architecture. however in 1891, through the battle for the throne, the palace — along with a number of other important structures — was destroyed under the request of zello soltan, the governor of isfahan. so based on historians’ descriptions, ayine khaneh was described as having a porch with 18 columns connected to a hall. the walls were decorated with mirrors and different paintings, while the floor was covered in marble. in the central part of the porch, there was a marble pool with fountains spouting from the mouths of four stone lions. today, the remaining elements of the palace are the lion-like masoned plinths.

porch area redesigned based on historical descriptions



given how the architecture was mostly demolished from the 19th century, this project is drafted resorting to three important historical resources. firstly, the remaining pictorial documents, like sketches and plans drawn by french architects eugene flandin and pascal coste in 1840, as well as photographs taken by german telegraphist and photographer ernst hoeltzer before destruction of the palace. secondly, the written descriptions of this complex from persian and european historians and tourists like mirza tahvildar, jean chardin, and engelbert kaempfer. thirdly, the revision of the architecture of other pavilions built at the same time like the chehel sotoun palace, ali hapou, hasht behesht, and ashraf hall which still stands. 

the palace hall connects to the porch 

ayine khaneh and khaju Bridge 

the pavillon after being destroyed
photo by ernst hoeltzer

overview of the ayine khaneh
photo by ernst hoeltzer

interior perspective drawing by pascal coste

architectural drawings and plans by pascal coste

zello soltan, the governor of isfahan

plan and façades reconstruction of ayine khaneh palace



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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