framing tehran’s tower cranes in poetically eerie compositions


Having long explored construction landscapes across Iran, visual artist Manuel Alvarez Diestro turns his lens to Tehran’s bustling metropolis. Instead of delving into the intricacies of the building process, Diestro focuses on the poetic interplay of tower cranes, presenting an intriguing perspective of these enigmatic, vertical structures from a distance. From a compositional approach, Diestro departs from conventional close-ups, instead framing the tower cranes from the hills surrounding the city to emphasize a poetic and eerie ambiance. In the photographer’s eyes, they become distant silhouettes against the backdrop of Tehran’s evolving, ultra-dense urban landscape, their dynamic accents punctuating the skyline.

tehran tower cranes 4
all images by Manuel Alvarez Diestro



manuel alvarez diestro captures the evolving metropolis


Capturing the various facets of Tehran’s urban transformation and the significant role of tower cranes in Tehran’s metropolitan narrative, Manuel Alvarez Diestro showcases their enduring importance. Drawing on his childhood fascination with the ephemeral nature of these schematic structures, the photographer highlights their symbolic dance, moving gracefully across the cityscape. In the past decade, Tehran has witnessed a construction spree, extending beyond new city developments surrounding the congested capital to encompass the creation of apartment blocks in the affluent northern neighborhoods where the air is cleaner against the backdrop of the Alborz mountains.


Tower cranes take center stage against the city’s skyline, become integral components in residential developments, and coexist harmoniously with antennas and the urban fabric. From unfinished skyscrapers in central Tehran to the construction of new residential blocks, the visual narratives unfold against the sprawling metropolis, offering glimpses into the evolving face of the Iranian capital.

tehran tower cranes 8
cluster of cranes coexisting with antennas and the urban fabric

tehran tower cranes 7
set against the backdrop of the Alborz mountain range

tehran tower cranes 1
tower cranes on the forefront against the city

tehran tower cranes 2
residential developments in front of north east Tehran

tehran tower cranes 12
tower cranes against the Alborz mountain range

tehran tower cranes 5
eerie view of Tehran with crane crowning the skyline

tehran tower cranes 6
unfinished skyscraper in central Tehran

tehran tower cranes 9
construction of new residential blocks with sprawling metropolis on the back

tehran tower cranes 10
view of Tehran towards the North West

tehran tower cranes 3
tower cranes within the ultra-dense urban fabric

tehran tower cranes 11
tower crane pointing a new residential development



project info:


name: Tehran tower cranes

photographer: Manuel Alvarez Diestro



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: ravail khan | designboom