Bridging the Cultural and Generational Divide: Revitalization of Historic Fabric in Shiraz
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This thesis investigates architectural heritage as a source of urban revitalization. The project site is the historic Zand complex in Shiraz, which has symbolically and functionally been central to the structure and identity of Shiraz for centuries. However, over the past forty years it has fallen into disrepair, as Iran has weathered economic sanctions, global disconnection, and a growing generational divide, with seventy percent of the population below age forty. As the sanctions have recently been lifted and Iranians look to connect again with the global community, now is the chance to authenticate identity and form a cohesive cultural narrative. The proposed design aims to foster cultural conversations both locally and globally, and focuses on continuity with tradition and innovation to develop a renewed Zand complex – one that is connected to social institutions old and new, is attractive to youth, and builds on Iran’s rich architectural culture, to create a contemporary cultural, educational, commercial, and symbolic centre in the heart of Shiraz.