Locating modernity’s unfinished project in the historical matrix of Iran, Louis Kahn’s Silent Space of Critique in Tehran, 1973–74 examines Louis Kahn’s master plan for a new civic center in Tehran. The 1970s witnessed a period of contention between political and cultural visions of modernity in Iran: as the shah’s state fabricated progress through a series of development plans, the queen’s reformist second court sponsored cultural and preservationist projects. This strife over modernity in Iran was reflected in Kahn’s design as form, space, and program. Shima Mohajeri shows that Kahn’s layout for a modern public space in Tehran concerned the development of an ethical attitude toward architectural modernity in a non-Western context as well as constituted a silent resistance to Iran’s sociopolitical reality and its spaces of representation.
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