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Nader Ardalan

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Nader Ardalan is an Iranian architect, urban planner and writer. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BA, 1961) and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (MArch, 1962). He worked in several firms in the USA, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, before returning to Iran to work for the National Iranian Oil Company (1964-6).

In 1966 he became Design Partner for Iran's largest archictectural firm, Abdul Aziz Farman Farmaian & Associates, in Tehran, and in 1972 he set up his own practice in Tehran, the Mandala Collaborative. Ardalan, whose work ranges from private residences to master plans for new towns, is one of the most important architects to emerge from Iran in the recent past.

His work reflects his particular concern for cultural and ecological aspects of architecture; in Iran it is strongly rooted in an understanding of the traditions and forms of Iranian Islam, although his buildings are in a totally contemporary idiom. Perhaps his best-known work is the Iran Centre for Management Studies (1972) in Tehran, which consists of four iwans, or vaulted structures arranged formally around a central courtyard. His use of geometry, the enclosed courtyard and the vault are drawn from Islamic tradition; other traditional concepts reinterpreted in his work include the use of water and light, symbolic axes and the 'paradise garden'. Other innovative works in Iran include the Behshahr Home Offices (1974), Tehran (now used as the Ministry of Industry), as well as plans for Bu Ali Sina University (1977, with Georges Candilis) in Hamadan and several new towns such as Nutan, near Isfahan (1978), designed with a traditional paradise garden as its axial spine.

In 1977 Ardalan moved to the USA, continuing his practice in Boston and undertaking work in Pakistan, France, Israel and Turkey, for example the Old City Preservation Plan for Jerusalem (1984) and the Ankara Sheraton Hotel Center (1985). He joined Jung/Brannen International, Boston, in 1983 and became a Principal Associate. His work in the USA covers planning, interior design and architecture. He was appointed Principal in charge of planning for the clean-up of Boston Harbour during the 1990s, including the creation of new land forms containing a sewage plant; other projects included a prize winning competition entry for the Citizens' Plaza Office (1989), a triangular-shaped building set in the context of a historic site in Providence, RI. He was appointed Visiting Professor at Harvard and at Yale University, New Haven, CT.


  • Iran Center for Management Studies in Tehran

  • Behshahr Home Offices (1974),

  • Plans for Bu Ali Sina University (1977, with Georges Candilis) in Hamedan

  • Plans of some new towns such as Nuran, near Isfahan (1978)

  • Old City Preservation Plan for Jerusalem (1984) 

  • Ankara Sheraton Hotel Centre (1985)

  • Citizens' Plaza Office (1989)

  • Planning for the clean-up of Boston Harbour during the 1990s

  • A triangular-shaped building | Citizen’s Bank – Providence, Rhode Island

  • The Intelligent Tower | Qatar

  • Pardisan, an Environmental Park, Tehran, Iran

  • Tehran Center of Celebration of Music

  • Arab Center For Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology

  • DAMAQ Headquarters in Dubai

  • Pisces Luxury Residential Towers, Tripoli, Libya

  • ADMA-OPCO Headquarters, Abu Dhabi, UAE

  • Thomas Lee Office Suite – Boston, MA




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