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Azadeh Hariri, Maryam Ghassemi Sichani, Behnam Pedram,
Volume 39, Issue 82 (Fall 2018)

The architecture of residential spaces in Isfahan has put forward treasured examples to the world of art and architecture through history. House is one of the most important forms of the social organization of space in which numerous factors have been influential in its construction just like many other human-made complexes. Due to the changes in the recent century, historical houses are severely vulnerable to destruction, especially where houses constitute a significant part of the historical fabric of historical cities in Iran, including Isfahan. Modern development is one of the key factors in the destruction of and changes in the physical appearance of historical houses. They functioned as the identity-making element of the historical fabrics. Albeit they enjoyed many values including physical, functional and expressive aspects, they have been forgotten at present and sometimes become a crisis for a neighborhood. The result of disregarding the historical fabrics is to dishonor their historical and cultural identity. One of the worst destructions of the residential heritage of Isfahan is purposeful setting fire to such houses. After the demise of Allāmeh Olfat, his home has witnessed many damages and challenges. This house is one of the types of the Iranian residential architecture that in addition to physical values, enjoy unrivalled expressive and trans-physical indexes. This house was one of the cultural markers of Hassanabad neighborhood in the past, but it has become the least secure spot of the community at the moment. To achieve peace and security, the residents of the area endeavor to destroy this valuable heritage. Its destruction led in the disappearance of the dwelling pattern and its relevant culture. This research tries to explain the physical structure and function of Olfat House for documentation based on oral interviews, private and governmental archives. The main goal for answering the critical question is to provide scientific documentation of the structure by analyzing its physical and functional characteristics to clarify its values as an example of destroyed residential heritage of Isfahan. To carry out the project descriptive-analytical method has been employed aiming at the development and utilizing library sources, photos, maps, field studies, observation and interview. The collected data has been analyzed through a qualitative method by comparison and interpretation. The results reveal the physical and functional values of the house though studying the historical documents and comparing them with several contemporaneous historic houses in the same neighborhood. The Olfat House was of rare houses in the Qajar period which were equipped with a garden and bathroom.
Moreover, there existed a unique system of connections among a number of the relatives’ houses through dead-end alleys and private passages. The life in the said house was in concert with Allāmeh Olfat’s extensive activities. His activities in the field of culture and sometimes production such as rose water production reveal the trans-residential functions in the house.

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