Israeli planning in the Shah's Iran: a forgotten episode

Neta Feniger, Rachel Kallus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In the 1970s, while the rest of the world was undergoing recession, vast economic growth in Iran, leading to fast urbanization, generated a growing international building market in which Israeli construction firms and architects also participated, benefiting from the good bilateral relationships at the time. To examine the experience of Israeli architects working in Iran and how it influenced their professional practice, this paper focuses on two projects planned and built simultaneously by Israeli teams. The Navy project was comprised of three massive housing estates and public amenities for the Iranian Navy's troops and families on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The Eskan Towers in Tehran was a complex of residential luxury towers and a commercial centre catering for the Iranian elite. Review of these cases indicates that national knowledge was not always the basis for transnational planning, and that the international arena itself became the source of knowledge and flow. In the Navy project, the architect derived his ideas from professional practices acquired back home, while in the Eskan Towers project the team was confronted with the free-market economy and a globalized practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-251
Number of pages21
JournalPlanning Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Iran
  • Israel
  • architectural knowledge
  • globalization
  • market-led urbanism
  • modernist urbanism
  • transnational architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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