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Abdol Aziz Farmanfarmaian

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Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian was born is Shiraz in 1920 as the tenth son to Prince Abdol-Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma, at the time Governor General of the province of Shiraz. In 1928, at the age of 8 he was sent to school in France, where he remained for his primary, and secondary school at Lycée Michelet in Paris until 1938. A brief trip to Iran during the short summer of 1935 was his first contact as an adolescent with his family.His Baccalaureate degree was received in 1938. Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian and three other brothers were extremely lucky that their father, Prince Abdol Hossein Mirza, Had organized for them as guardian Mr. Desiré Roustan a leading French philosopher and writer. They in fact owe to him a happy childhood and excellent education away from home. Architectural studies were initiated in the École Spéciale d'Architecture, where he started to prepare for the Beaux Arts School .

The onset of World War II broke the continuity of his studies and had to leave for Iran in 1940 where he stayed until 1945. During this period of worldwide uncertainty he worked at different jobs such as: Teheran Municipality, Karnsaks, and the Ministry of Culture (Vezarate Pishehonar).

In 1942 he married with Leila Gharagozlou and formed a family having a son. After the end of World War II Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian came back to Paris with his family to continue his studies and was admitted at the Atelier of Mr. Nicot at the world famous Ecole des Beaux Arts where he received his degree in 1950. The final project presented as his thesis was the design for a modern caravanserai to be situated in southern Iran. This project received the prize for “the best thesis (diploma) of the year.” In 1950 Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian moved back to Tehran for good until 1979, where he proceeded to create one of Iran’s most important modern-day architectural legacies.

The initial years- The Razmara period followed by the Mossadegh years- where marked by an unstable political and economical situation. Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian started to work as a civil servant at the university of Teheran in the Department of Construction where he became departmental director after a few years. During the same period he was given a professorial chair at the Teheran University school of Architecture (Daneshkadeh Honarhaie Ziba), where he taught students architecture until 1957-8.

In 1954 Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian was admitted by the “Plan Organization” as a recognized consultant, At this time when Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian designed numerous private residences for his extended relatives, friends and clients. The legal entity that was set up was known as “Moassessehye Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian.” In 1976, the company known as “AFFA” Abdol Aziz Farman-Farmaian and Associates was created for the design of the Stadium and in accordance with the directive of the Plan Organization to be associated with younger architects. The new associates were belonged to Mr. Reza Majd and Mr. Farokh Hirbod both graduates from first class American universities. AFFA's associates were increased with the years.

He permanently moved to Paris in 1980 and  lived there . He was also in close contact with his partner Reza Majd, who still practiced .architecture until recently in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. Abdol Aziz Farman Farmaian died in June 21 , 2013 , Spain .


Project List

In 1975 AFFA's rating in the plan organization was ranked first in Iran as a design and engineering consultant organization.

  • National Iranian Oil Company Headquarters (in collaboration with Yahya Etehadieh), 13 story office in Tehran, 1961

  • Telecommunication Center, 2 story tower in Tehran (sub-contract from Aneg), 1974

  • Ministry of Roads, 14 story headquarter building, 1959

  • National Iranian Television Center, Studios, offices and other facilities in Tehran, 1972

  • Beh Shahr Group Office, Offices and other facilities, 1969

  • Khaneh Center Commercial Complex, 3 three-story towers of 200,000 square metes half finished

  • Bank Saderat Isfahan Branch Office, Banking facilities, 1978

  • Bank Kar Building, 23-story building offices, 1960

  • Bank Etebarat/Credit Lyonnais, Offices and banking facilities, 1968

  • Cement Company Office, Built at the Plant, 1960

  • Tehran Olympic Center - Track and field and football stadium, 100,000 seat stadium with all related facilities with an artificial lake at the north of the complex, 1970

  • Multi purpose covered stadium (in collaboration with S.O.M San Francisco), 12,000 seat, 1979

  • Covered swimming and diving pool (in collaboration with S.O.M San Francisco), 3000 seat, 1974

  • Office Building and press center, 1974

  • Shooting range, Hand gun and riles, 1974

  • Trap shooting range, 1974

  • Out door training fields, Hockey, track and field, 1974 

  • Out door tennis court and field hockey, For training purposes, 1974

  • Connecting roads and bridges to main Karaj road, 1974

  • Saman 1 apartment building, Two 22 story towers with 170 apartment units, 1970

  • Saman 2 tower apartment building, 3 thirteen-story towers, totaling 400 apartments, 1972

  • Vanak Park Apartment Complex, 4 towards (6 & 20 story each), 1978

  • Sarcheshmeh housing complex, 2,500 building units of single-family housing for the copper mining industry employees, 1978

  • Polyacr residential community, Employee housing in 154 units, 1978

  • Bid Boland housing project (U.I.O.E) (in collaboration with Yahya Etehadieh), 500 units of lousing for the gas pumping station workers, 1968

  • Khaneh Karaj, Different housing types recreational community, 1977

  • Darya, Second Home Community 700 single family, 1977

  • Isfahan, Single-family detached homes, townhouses, and apartments, 1978

  • New Niavaran Palace, 1967

  • Queen Mothe's Sad-abad residence, 1972

  • Mahmoud Reza's Sad-abad residence, 1965

  • Mehr-abad Airport Expansions Program,Apron, 38 aircraft positions with underground service road and underpass network, 1972

  • Terminal N02, International passenger service facility, 1972

  • Terminal N03, Facilities for Hajji Pilgrims leaving and returning, 1970

  • Terminal N04, International passenger service facility, 1974

  • Government Pavilion, Reception areas, lounges, kitchen, and dining facilities Educational buildings , 1978

  • Iran education project (in collaboration with Scandiacnsuk Intl-World Bank Project), Master planning, site selection, design and construction of 49 schools and colleges in 19 cities and towns in Iran, 1974

  • University of Tehran - Tehran School of engineering laboratories, Electro mechanical laboratories, 1965

  • Technical school auditorium, 500 Seats, 1965

  • School of agriculture hydraulics laboratories, 1958

  • School of agriculture residential facilities, 1960

  • School of veterinary sciences clinics, 1967

  • School of science atomic research center, 1959

  • Residential buildings for students in Amir-abad, 1959

  • Restaurants for students in Amir-abad 

  • Health and Hospital - Social Welfare Organization, Office building in 5 stories, 1964

  • University of Ahwaz Hospital, 300-bed facility with doctors' training center, 1965

  • Iranian army general hospital, Tehran, 200-bed hospital with a major surgical department, 1968

  • Hospital, Abadan (in collaboration with Wilson, Mason and Partners), 250-bed facility with orthopedics and rehabilitation center, 1959

  • Iranian Pavilion, EXO 67, 8,000 square meter exhibition hall in a building with blue Isfahan tile exterior, 1967

  • Carpet Museum in Tehran

  • Tele Communication Building

  • PIT postal sorting center (with the UK General Post Office), Automated central mail sorting complex, 1975

  • Shemshak ski resort hotel, 30 rooms with sport resort facilities plus restaurant and locker rooms

  • Industrial Buildings - Arj industrial complexes, 20,000 square meter factory and shop facility plus 5,000 square meters of office space units of staff apartments, 1965 

  • Darou Pakhsh Group Pharmaceutical Plan (with Wilson, Mason and Partners), 20,000 square meters of plant, laboratories and offices 300, 1965

  • Pfizer pharmaceutical center (with Wilson, Mason and Partners), 8,000 square meters of offices, 1965

  • Squibb industrial offices (with Wilson, Mason and Partners), 7,000 square meters offices, 1965

  • Shopping center of the Iranian army, 20,000 square meters in 3 floors plus basement level, 1966

  • Telecommunication and earth satellite station for Northup Page Communications, 1970

  • Comprehensive master plan of Tehran (with Gruen Associates), 25 years growth plan and policies, capital improvement program, land use and development controls regarding direction of growth for capital of 5.5 million population, arranged in 10 linear towns along an east-west axis, major rejuvenation of residential and southern sectors of Tehran - Lavizan New Town, Master plan of 3,200 hectares for 280,000 population community on east axis of Tehran, 1977

  • Kan New Town, Middle and upper income community of 260,000 population on 4,000 hectares on the west axis of Tehran, 1977

  • Sarcheshmeh Community, 2,500 units, Residential development for the copper mining industries staff, 1978

  • Khaneh Community Development · Isfahan, 140 hectare development for a community of 15,000 persons, 1978

  • Darya, Resort community on 250 hectares extensive beach from · Karaj, Second home community for 700 single-family units on 63 hectares, 1977 

  • Greater Tehran Parking Study, Study of the potential for development of underground public parking structures in major squares throughout central Tehran, 1969  

  • Note1, between years 1950 and 1965 construction of 100 houses for friends and family. Some of these houses have been destroyed. Residence of the Belgian Ambassador still exists.

  • Note2, Since 1955 up to 1970, all now basic work for Oil Operating Company (Consortium), as schools, houses, clubs houses, hospital, clinics, etc. has been designed and built by AFFA and Wilson & Masons of London.

  • Note3, Designed but not built, New Tehran International Airport-Terminal Building and about 100 different support facilities, (in collaboration with T.A.M.S New York), Construction of runways, started in 1978

  • Air Force Academy near Isfahan (in collaboration with S.O.M Chicago Office)

  • Royal House Society and Hippodrome

  • Central Bank of Iran and Crown Jewels Museum in Abbas-abad, Tehran


Tehran Master Plan

Partnered with the American firm of Victor Gruen Associates, Farman farmaian proposed his most important project, the Master plan of Tehran. This comprehensive plan, which was approved in 1968, identified the city problems to be high density, expansion of new suburbs, air and water pollution, inefficient infrastructure, unemployment, and rural-urban migration. To deal with these problems, the consortium envisioned a 25 year planning horizon which encouraged reducing the density and congestion of the city center through polycentric developments around Tehran. Eventually, the whole plan was ‘marginalized’ by the 1979 Iranian revolution and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war. 

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