Maryam Ashkan, Yahaya Ahmad



Persian master builders had introduced an architectural innovation which had an imperishable effect on dome architecture in the Middle East and Central Asia: surmounting a dome on squinches. This paper aims to provide a broader perspective of Persian domes as the most significant feature of Eastern domes in the Middle East. As opposed to previous general historic studies, this paper introduces a new analytical approach directed towards analysis of architectural concepts and stylistic attributes of Persian domes based on an epistemological premise of their space syntax. By analytic reviewing of examples, the paper addresses the origin of Persian domes, their formal morphological constitutions, and their typological forms based on the diversity of the external shell over the specific timeline, from the pre-Islamic era through the Qajar period in Iran. The study of the Persian dome’s characteristics can illustrate undiscovered information about the essences of developing dome constructions in the Middle East. It can also establish new design standards regarding the frameworks of domical building configurations to be used for creating typological diversity in dome design and to renew the morphological principles of the traditional dome compositions in contemporary architectural designs. Finally, the insights gained can inform conservation efforts on domical structures in the region and elsewhere.


Dome history; Persian domes; Islamic domes; morphological constitutions; typological arrangements

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