The Impact of Women on the Middle class Houses of the Qajar Era (Case Study: Northern Cities of Iran)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran


Gender expresses the social and cultural identity of men and women in society. It has balance or not, considering various factors such as cultural, religious and social beliefs, norms and values, the level of women and men's liberties in the family and society, the structure of power (patriarchy and maternity) and the degree of their cooperation in providing livelihoods. The purpose of this paper is to study definition of gender in the northern cities of Iran and, in particular, to compare this concept in two cultures of Guilan and Mazandaran in the Qajar era. Although it seems that the Qajar houses of Guilan and Mazandaran are very similar to each other because of the climatic similarity of the two regions; but the comparative study reveals differences in the shape and organization of the space, the degree of privacy, the manner and degree of controlling private and public realms; which is due to the importance of gender components in the formation of traditional housing. The present research claims that limits of privacy and the methods of creating visual and physical barriers in the Qajar houses of Guilan and Mazandaran have been distinguished from one another due to different ways of life in these two regions. This paper first considers cultural differences to measure this claim. Then, it studies the effect of gender identity components on the physical structure and spatial structure of the houses by the selection of eight case examples from the middle class houses in the historical context of cities in Guilan and Mazandaran provinces. The results of the analysis show that life style, livelihood, social relations, religion, security and women's veil have influenced the concept of gender and the difference of this concept in the cultural structures of the two communities has caused obvious differences in the ways for making privacy.  


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