from a residence to an architectural firm

iran-based polsheer architects restored and preserved a cultural heritage that existed 300 years ago in djolfa neighborhood, iran. this tercentenary house had basically been a dwelling part of an edifice. in 1996 (1375 ap), the present board of directors of polsheer architects planners engineers co. purchased this house from zavalian’s heirs. after the principal restoration and rehabilitation of the building, the main function of this precious structure was changed transformed from a residence to an architectural firm. 

polsheer house, in three frontlines of its courtyard, has inherited the architectural ornament of three iranian historical-art periods. the architecture of its southern wing is considered the oldest part of the house, dating back to more than 300 years ago. that of the northern wing belongs to the zand era, 250 years ago; and that of the eastern wing to the qajar era, 150 – 200 years ago.

polsheer house 1
all images courtesy of polsheer architects 


the old and the new

much of the unfitting additions were eliminated by polsheer architects during the preservation project. the current building consists of a small courtyard surrounded by a series of rooms on four sides which apart from the southern wing, are all arranged on two levels. a collection of stunning paintings takes place in a large cruciform room measuring 9 by 7 meters on the western side. the rooms all have elegant doors and fretwork windows. the western rooms used to have multicolored cross-shaped windows, only one of which remains today.

the spatial and structural composition of this building displays the same principles of architecture, static’s and equilibrium seen in the grand palaces of the ‘safavid’ period. all designs and plans demonstrate a uniform, unbreakable and progressive spatial arrangement. the ceiling is made up of load-bearing vaults and delicate stucco work. the latest ornament of this house goes back to the ‘qajar’ period though a considerable portion of its decorations relates to the second half of the 19th century (12th century AP).

polsheer house 2
the residence is 300 years old


renovating these old houses with new functions, were not only a conservancy work for the historic structures but also an emersion of dynamics lively spaces. the building is located next to minas church in tabrizi-ha district in jolfa neighbor, including 3 historical periods in iran and has lots of traditional architectural elements and features as well as many magnificent wall paintings. the house was almost ruined till it was restored and renovated. restoring and preserving this cultural heritage in this way, won a UNESCO prize in 2002.

polsheer house 3
symmetry and reflections

polsheer house 4
ornamented iranian architecture

polsheer house 6
elegant and symmetrical

polsheer house 7
ornamented ceiling view

polsheer house 8
elegant doors and multicolored windows allow light to pierce the space

polsheer house 9

polsheer house 10
multi colored windows

polsheer house 11
the old and the new

polsheer house 12
the old and the new



project info:


name: polsheer house
designers: polsheer architects

team: mohamadreza ghaneei, ali sheikholeslam, maziar momeni, farzad khorvash , a.mohseni , f.tamadon



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edited by: yasmina karam | designboom