The Art of Building photography competition

The Art of Building photography competition is an international showcase for the very best digital photography of the built environment. The competition, run by the Chartered Institute of Building, celebrates the creativity of the industry, the passion of the people who work within it, and the impact their work has on those who make use of the final construction. Photographers can submit up to three photographs across three categories : Architecture, conservation and heritage and human interaction.

It is a competition that celebrates buildings and the relationship people have with the built environment. Selected photographs feature in real public installations as the competition transforms construction hoarding into gallery spaces.

In ninth year of CIOB , hossein farahani's photo has been one of the tweleve finalists.


About the finalisted photo :

The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims. Pilgrim women have changed their regular cloths with special white ones in Miqat Dhul Hulifa Bir Ali which is a historical mosque near Medina. changing the cloths and being ready for pilgrimage is a part of this ritual. They presence with those cloths in this mosque where has an important role in Umrah. This is a huge interaction between people and architecture Permanently.


Amoozal online learning platform helps individual learners and students in technical and engineering fields specially architecture to learn practical skills they need to achieve their goals. In addition, Amoozal collaborate with Amirkabir University of Technology. One of these courses related to architecture …

Manzel Magazine interview with Hossein Farahani


Manzel Magazine in its 109 issue has dedicated a whole page to Hossein Farahani as an architectural photographer. This page contains some information about the photographer and his perspective on architectural photography and how he encounters architectural space.



From the preface of the book:

Houses have always existed as part of human habitation, reflecting their culture and beliefs. No building better illustrates architecture as a respond to the physical needs and spiritual desires of man than a house. Therefore, houses are unique entities in the context of cultural studies, or in terms of space creation and architecture of any ethnic group. They are also significant components of the history of architectural development.

Despite this significance, information on house architecture is truly limited due to reasons beyond this discussion. This negligence is also present in architecture books. Fortunately though, five volumes of the Ganjnameh series introduce houses, three of which have been published—vol. 1: Houses of Kashan, vol. 4: Houses of Esfahan, and vol. 14: Houses of Yazd. Volumes 15 and 16 also introduce traditional houses of 24 other cities, totaling 71 houses.

The number of introduced houses in each city is different; 13 houses in one, and 4-8 houses in five other cities. This is either because of the accessibility of houses and their documentations, or because of the degree of integrity of remaining houses in each city. Architectural value and authenticity of houses were among other selection criteria.

Houses often lack precise construction dates. However, houses presented in these two volumes can be estimated to be built in the thirteenth to the mid-fourteenth century AH, which is contemporary with the Qajar rule in Iran. A few may belong to the early Pahlavi period as well. Therefore, this collection of houses is, in fact, reflective of house architecture during the Qajar era, and highlights the tastes and trends in space creation and house design during the transformation period of Iranian architecture.

Except for few examples dating to the Safavid and Zand era, most traditional houses remaining in Iran are from the Qajar period. Therefore, architecturally, they comprise the most significant evidences by which one could learn about the spaces of normal life in previous times. Nevertheless, it has to be taken into account that this is a prominent architectural period in terms of innovative and ingenious space creation whose most evident examples are in houses.

The pleasant memories of traditional houses in the minds of present Iranians comes from the experience of houses of this period; the experience of amiable, delicate, and fine spaces which induce peace in our body and soul, and let imagination fly. This modest architecture is composed of simple materials, yet in an ordered organization and accounted measures and proportions and a skillful composition. The fine spaces are created by means of precise and proper use of all the qualities of materials, light and shade, water, sky, and plants. In other words, we are dealing with the art of architecture, both in its general and specific senses.

The houses introduced in volumes 15 and 16 of the Ganjnameh series are from different cities across the geographical extent of present Iran. They are all at once representative of the architectural variety of the remaining houses in different regions, as their similarities and differences are illustrated. Nevertheless, they cannot be used to draw an all-inclusive conclusion, since houses of some other cities are missing from the collection. Moreover, the number of houses from some particular cities is not as sufficient to understand and assess local residential architecture. However, our aim has been to illustrate the general composition of residential architecture and space creation of the last centuries by the collection of houses introduced in these two volumes as well as other houses introduced in previous volumes.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
winter 2015

The majority of the photographers of Ganjnameh, Volumes 15 and 16 from 1995 until 2001 were Keivan Jourabchi, Navid Mardoukhi Rowhani and Behnam Qelich-Khani. The rest of the photos of these volumes were shot by Hossein Farahani in 2015. Both of these volumes were published in 2016.

Some pages of volume Fifteen; Houses (part 1 ):

Some pages of volume sixteen; Houses (part 2 ):

Kav’s Way of Architectural Photography

Sam Optic glasses-shop, Sam Center, Tehran

Sam Optic glasses-shop, Sam Center, Tehran

Ways of photographing can be discussed from two views: the viewpoint on the subject and the photographing technique.

Viewpoint on the Subject

Kav’s perspective of architectural photography is derived from an architect’s viewpoint on building and architecture which is gained through years of experience in designing.

All in all Kav’s approach in architectural photography has an architectural perspective which is gained by professional photography and knowledge of architecture. Surely, to capture the building properly, enough knowledge and true understanding of the space are needed. An architect’s viewpoint of architectural space, affected by enough knowledge and experience in designing makes this understanding better. An architectural photography with this knowledge produces a unique result and Kav guarantees that. In addition to having thorough knowledge of the architectural space, Kav applies high photographing techniques and professional equipment to create a better high quality pictures.

Photographing Techniques

There are many photographing techniques from which a photographer chooses, according to the subject and the project. One of the most important aspects of these techniques is light controlling which has a major role in architectural photography.

We believe that in architectural photography, light, whether artificial or natural, reflects the space as it is seen. So adding temporary lights or industrial lighting to improve the picture harms the essence and quality of the space and produces an unreal picture of the structure. In architecture light, shade, darkness and lightness with its other characteristics have different roles in the quality of the space which should not be neglected. Then what can be used as light in architectural photography is available environmental light which is diverse in various situations and different hours of the day. But using this light has its own problems and the most important one of all is dynamic range.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the amount of light difference between the brightest and darkest areas of the picture which has recognizable details. Human eye with a high dynamic range can detect light in a situation with high contrast. For instance, when you are sitting in a room with a window, you can easily see the details inside the room and outside the window at the same time, while cameras don’t have this capability and this means that a part of the pictorial information is lost and won’t be recorded. A contractual specific number is set for cameras and human eyes.

Taking a detailed elucidative picture of the whole space is one of the greatest challenges of all in architectural photography. There are different ways to compensate for this loss. One of them is using industrial lighting to reduce the contrast but as said this changes the shades and lights of the building and affects its quality which is not accepted.

Another way is to take photos with a high dynamic range. This goal is achieved by taking many photos in different lighting situations and then combine all these photos using software; this way the photo will have a high dynamic range. Actually in this process by keeping the contrast between dark and bright areas, a picture is made in which dark and bright areas have all their details and no information is lost.

A house of niche, Najaf Abad

A house of niche, Najaf Abad

There are different combination methods. Those programs which do this job automatically, usually make an unreal unprofessional fast result. “Photomatix” is one of the most famous software packages of all.

We believe that combining raw pictures manually and masterly is time consuming but has a much more natural and professional outcome. Though this takes time, experience, expertise and effort to be produced, the result is more satisfactory and the picture is more real and closer to what our eyes see. 

Also to improve the frame, colours and light, different software utilities such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW, Capture One Pro and   Digital Photo Professional are used. It is worth mentioning that each software package is used in its strong points. Moreover, photos are shot and saved as a raw file or Digital Negative. Their vast shades of colours and 16 bit light help them be edited better in software processes.

Since editing the picture as cited is pricey and time-consuming, to picture the buildings better a lot of photos from different angels and with various frames are taken and then the bests of them which show the structure more efficiently are selected. These chosen frames are edited via the software utilities until the final product is prepared.

Additionally, Kav’s professional photographic equipment like full frame cameras and various lenses (such as flat wide lenses that are proper for architectural photography, or other lenses with different focal lengths and depths of field) tries to capture the structure more proficiently under all circumstances.



The first year of Kerman Tourism Photo Festival (in 2016) was held in three categories: Amateur Photographers, Professional Photographers and Kerman Professional Photographers.
Two of Hossein Farahani's works which captured Lut Desert, reached the finals and one of them named “Lut Desert” got second prize in the Professional Photographers category.
Exhibition of the selected works of Kerman Tourism Photo Festival was held in Shahid Atashi Gallery in May/June? 2016. One hundred and twenty selected photos sent to the festival’s secretariat were exhibited. Its closing ceremony took place in Kosar Cultural Center in June 2016. 

Lut Desert, Iran, 2012.

Lut Desert, Iran, 2012.


Cover photo by Nematollah Shojaie

From the preface of the book:

The fourth volume of the Ganjnameh series introduces some mansions of Esfahan. Presented here are but a few among the numerous traditional houses of Esfahan—a city where fortunately, numerous valuable houses have been preserved, although their number is decreasing daily. The buildings introduced, except some Safavid-period houses, belong to the Qajar era. Thus, the evolution of architectural design during the long Qajar period can also be traced in their architecture. Yet, regardless of the differences these buildings have, common principles and themes are discernible in their architecture and spatial organization.

Most conspicuous in these houses are the large courtyards and lush flowerbeds, around which large and small spaces are disposed. In plan view, these courtyards are crowned by large, ostentatious reception halls which constitute the most important spaces of the ensemble. Reception halls (talars) strongly affect the overall spatial composition, form and details of the facades, and the constituent elements of the courtyards. These reception halls overlook the courtyard on the front, and open to adjacent spaces from their sides. Another important space in most houses is the tall and profusely decorated howz-khaneh, located behind the spaces overlooking the courtyard— removed from the center of the house—and generally, roof-lit. Besides these, mention should be made of identical rooms, different-shaped eivans, elaborate entrances, wide terraces, secondfloor courtyards, penthouses, and antechambers flanking the reception halls.

The particular quality of these houses must not be assessed in terms of absence or existence of the above-mentioned spaces. Rather, it should be evaluated as the outcome of an order and balance pervading the design and composition of all constituent elements. All the spaces and facades have regular forms and proportionate dimensions and have been designed in full soundness and purity—just like a crystal formation. Their architectural compositions follow a predominantly symmetrical, balanced geometry. While similar, their spaces and arrangements  are varied. They all look alike, nevertheless, are different entities. The spaces of the house are placed encircling each other facing the courtyard, as though to turn away from aliens and create a serene, private harbor.

Thus, the impression these houses elicit is one of safety and tranquility, of a harmonious and congruous world, and of infinity in finiteness. The agreeable and delightful central courtyard where the heart of the house beats depicts a refined, charming universe. A universe filled with light, water, freshness, sense, and life. Rather than material dwellings, these houses are abodes of the soul, and secure harbors commensurate with it. In this way, everything within them has its own impression. No wall or door, nor pane or window is left unadorned. No space is without moqarnas works, rasmi-bandi trimmings, frescoes, stucco carvings, high and low ledges, tessellated tilework, or orosi windows all combined with color and pattern and in perfect harmony and balance. All are made of earth and mud, stone, wood, and plaster—but not of the kind we know.

Kambiz Haji Qassemi
Winter 1997

Note on the Second Edition

Mansions in Iranian historic cities are representative of the humane, pleasing, and beautiful architecture which was home to our forefathers. It is our responsibility today to take care and conserve these monuments that still brighten up our spirits. This responsibility is not only because we can then find out about the culture and lifestyles of the past, but also because the architecture serves us a way to learn for our future designs. These mansions were built with way simpler materials, more basic technology, and with much less information at hand than today. But how is it that they immediately engage our heart and soul and induce peace and delight? What are the secrets and symbols in the architecture? How did the creators of those buildings think, and what principles did they apply in their designs? What were their thought-out methods and procedures in creating such works and such spaces?

The context of these buildings is complimentary to architecture, although it may seem that their design is introvert and does not deal with the exterior. In other words, architecture and its context are both incomplete and meaningless without one another. In this regard, a historic monument located inside a fragmented, modified, or even erased town fabric poses as an incomplete, ambiguous architectural work—and this is a fundamental issue facing our historic towns and buildings, among them those of Esfahan. If we ignore this ongoing process, it would be no long that our cities lose their original form and our historic monuments be deprived of their architectural integrity and legibility. This would either impede or even bar further study of our urban and architectural history, burying with it the rich, cultural and artistic backbone in the works which can lead our designs today and in the future.

There are twenty-one mansions introduced in the fourth volume of the Ganjnameh series, representing a handful of myriad traditional houses in Esfahan—we know little about how many have remained. In the sixteen years since the first edition of the volume, most of the houses have suffered from more damage and deterioration, and their surroundings have also been extensively transformed. In this edition, the text has been revised, the drawings reviewed and more accurately redrawn and digitized, and new photographs have been taken of the monuments in order to represent them more comprehensively in a refined, high-quality publication. “Let us see into what acceptance will fall; and, into vision, what will come” [Hāfiz].

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Spring 2014

The photography of this volume’s new edition was done by Hossein Farahani with the highest number of photos and the other members of Ganjnameh’s photography team in 2008 and 2009. The photos were taken digitally. Some photos of the previous publication of the book which were slid films were reused for the recent one due to the buildings’ destruction and substandard reconstruction. Nematollah Shojaee, Khashayar Niroumand and Amir Hasan Beigi are the other members of the re-photographing team. Behnam Qelich-Khani, Asad Naghshbandi and Dokhi Afshar, Moe’in Mohammadi and Navid Mardoukhi Rowhani were analogue photographers of the book.

Some pages of volume four; Mansions of Esfahan



In 2012 Saman Bank made some changes in its branding, including redesigning its logo, interior and exterior design of its branches and a few changes in the operations and relations in the branches. One of the suggested ideas for the new design of the branches was to install large black and white photos of Iran’s historic places as a symbol of Iran’s culture...


Cover photo by Hossein Farahani

From the preface of the book:

The third volume of the Ganjnameh series introduces religious buildings of Tehran, and is unique among other volumes in that it introduces several types of buildings. This is because the present volume was the first of the series to take shape in view of the 200th anniversary of Tehran’s adoption as capital. However, when the layout of the rest of the series was finalized, owing to the particular status of historic buildings of Tehran and the benefits the publication of this book was judged to bear, it was decided not to upset the present composition. 

The truth is that historic works (religious buildings in particular) are actually lost amid the turmoil of Greater Tehran, and that Tehran today appears as a rootless city with no particular sense of identity. The first outcome of the publication of this book can be to endow Tehran with a religio-historic prestige and restore its rightfulness as a city bearing a time-honored historic past. Obviously, this book does not include all the religious buildings of Tehran, but the compilation of the most important among them within a single volume will show that Tehran boasts a varied and valuable collection of historic buildings ranging from mosques and madrasas to mausoleums, emamzadehs, and tekiehs, many of which remain unattended amid the large and small buildings of contemporary Tehran.

The oldest buildings of Tehran are mausoleums and emamzadehs. Although the majority of them have undergone extensive works of alteration or modifications which have changed their original appearances, their ancient historic inscriptions in fact are authentic proof as to the venerable age of this city. 

Mosques and modrasas were mostly built after Tehran’s denomination as the capital city, and therefore, they bear more recent architectural features. This is why various forms of the mosque-madrasa combination appear and proliferate among these buildings. This scheme can be clearly identified in monuments such as the Sepahsalar Jadid (Shahid Motahhari), Sepahsalar Qadim, Mo‘ayyer al-Molk, Haj Rajab-‘Ali, Moshir as-Saltaneh (Aqsa), and Haj Ab al-Hasan Memar-bashi, etc. The influence of this scheme is also conspicuous in the design of other mosques or madrasas which have not taken the full combinational form. For example, most madrasas show to have large shabestans or gonbad-khanehs, and the mosques include several chambers for theology students. Another way in which modern architecture has affected these buildings concerns the design of their spaces, particularly, their gonbod-khanehs, as compared to those of earlier buildings. 

The Imam Mosque and the Shahid Motahhari Madrasa are two outstanding buildings among other buildings introduced in this book. These two large examples rank among the most important historic buildings of lran—The Imam Mosque for its attachment to the time-honored mosque design traditions in modern times, and the Shahid Motahhari Madrasa for its innovation in design and ornament within the frameworks of traditional architecture.

It must be added that despite the historic, artistic, and architectural values of the buildings included in this volume, they have been so heavily damaged and discordantly modified that their present conditions are no better than their ruins. Thus, we hope that God willing, introducing the most important historic monuments of Tehran in this volume, could contribute to the conservation and preservation of these valuable works, beside stress their significance as historical documents of originality of Tehran, and safeguard them from further ruin and alteration.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Summer 1996

Note on the Second Edition

The key significance of religious monuments of Tehran as the identity constituents of the city’s religio-historic background is indisputable, as it is also mentioned in the introduction of the first edition of this book in 1375. Also mentioned are the weary and deteriorating conditions of the buildings.

As it is evident in the photographs taken during 1390-91 for the preparation of this new edition, unfortunately, all except two of the introduced buildings which have undergone proper restoration works have fallen into a more burdensome state since 1370s. This spirit of ignorance shows on one hand, neglect of the important role of these buildings in preserving the cultural-historical landmarks of urban identity of which few only remains, and on the other, indifference towards the serene and pleasant quality of architecture and space making—the exact qualities which, ironically, we are in search for in our present urban and architectural constructions.

Despite all said, these monuments still breathe and stand, and they can be rescued from the disorganization leading to their devaluation and deterioration with a careful effort of cooperation of all authorities and individuals involved. The amiable, gracious faces of the buildings can be revitalized from under the age-old burdens and improper additions. This would undoubtedly create more pleasant spaces to live and pray, making architecture more efficient while also pushing the city to regain its religio-historic and cultural prestige and credibility. 

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Summer 2013

Photographing of Ganjnameh’s third volume was done digitally in 2010. Many new photos of Religious Buildings of Tehran were taken during this time by Ganjnameh’s photography team, Hossein Farahani, Mehdi Jamshidi Nasab and Khashayar Niroomand. Some of these photos were used to introduce the buildings in the book. Behnam Gelich khani, Mo‘in Mohammadi, Navid Mardoukhi Rowhani, Hamid-Reza Reza’ian Abhar, Kamran Nakha'I, Jalal Yashmi  and Keyvan Joorabchi are the analogue photographers of the previous edition (1994-1996). 

Some pages of volume tree; Religious buildings of Tehran


Cover photo by Hossein Farahani

Cover photo by Hossein Farahani

From the preface of the book:

The second volume of the Ganjnameh series is dedicated to the mosques of Esfahan. Esfahan, or nesf-e jahan (literally, ‘half the world,’) is a true embodiment of ‘half’ of Iranian architecture.
The multitude and diversity of architectural works still remaining in this city is stupendous, and one can only admit that from this aspect, no other city is comparable to Esfahan.

In this volume, we become acquainted with multiple examples of mosques from various periods of history which have survived in Esfahan—whether large or small, sumptuous or simple, and belonging to different eras. Admirable among them are the Imam Mosque and the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, which are the masterpieces of mosque architecture, and also the Seyyed and Hakim Mosques, with no less significance. There are also smaller mosques, each representing its own particular architecture, like the simple Sorkhi Mosque, the elaborate and elegant Sheikh ‘Ali Khan Zanganeh Mosque, the historic ‘Ali Mosque, the Rokn al-Molk Mosque with its altogether distinct plan, and the Aqa-Noor, Rahim Khan, and Lonban Mosques.

Bringing these mosques together in a single volume bears several advantages, the most important being that, although all the buildings introduced are of the same function, architecturally they are highly diverse, and each expresses itself in a different manner. Yet, this diversity does not go as far as disintegrating their unity and severing the inherent link between them. In other words, although each one of these monuments is the outcome of the taste, creativity and innovative power of a master architect living in times and conditions of his own, they all emanate the same aura and bear traces of harmonious and unified principles. It is as though every architect who created one of these masterpieces has been but the person who, in accordance with his time’s demands and possibilities, brought about alterations and developments to his ideal mosque, while allowing for the general principles to remain unaltered for the mosque to be recognizable as such.

Their constituent elements are the limbs of a unique body. All the mosques have shabestans, eivans, domes, courtyards, and portals. All these elements are integrated into a particular and determined order. Nevertheless, each mosque has a different space and a novel expression. It is as though each one, in its own tongue, were singing a unique song— a song that is never to be repeated again. This harmony in diversity is conspicuous not only in the general design and spatial arrangement of the mosque, but in its constituent elements as well. The shabestan has a clear meaning and spatial model, but it has acquired a different visage in each mosque. The same is true in the case of portals, domes and eivans. This harmony and uniformity, coupled with evolution and diversity—in the overall building as well as in its constituent elements—is the entire story of our architectural history. It is for this very reason that the presence of a lively and dynamic architecture can be seen within the framework of a prospering design tradition over a long historic period, and lessons can be learnt from it for sure.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Summer 1996

Note on the Second Edition

There are eighteen of the most significant mosques of Esfahan introduced in the second volume of the Ganjnameh series. However, it is obvious that this number does not count toward a complete reflection of the body of all mosques in this city. According to different sources and documents, these only sum up to one-fourth or one-third of the whole number of mosques standing yet, most of which have not, unfortunately, been thoroughly introduced elsewhere. What is more to this regret is that numerous unidentified historic monuments exist within and on the fringes of this city, falling into decay, and many others that are not even named in different books or texts.

Due to various considerations, the number of mosques introduced in this edition has not been increased. However though, many of the known historic mosques especially in the periphery of Esfahan are well worth investigating in a series such as this, among them Barsian Mosque (400s AH), Seen Mosque (500s AH), Aziran, Kaj, Dashti, and Gonbad Azadan Mosques (700s AH), ‘Ali Qoli Aqa Ensemble, Pudeh Mosque and Khuzan Jame‘ Mosque (1100s AH), and Mahalleye No Mosque (1200s AH).

Modifications in the second edition of Ganjnameh: Esfahan Mosques include more accurate, digitized architectural drawings, new and added digital photographs of monuments, in addition to revised and improved texts to be more fully and factually representative of the monuments. 
Furthermore, the new edition is prepared for researchers and enthusiasts in an optimized layout and a more elegant print.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Spring 2014

The photography of this volume’s new edition was done by Hossein Farahani with the highest number of photos and the other members of Ganjnameh’s photography team in 2009 and 2010. The photos were taken digitally. Some photos of the previous publication of the book which were slid films were reused for the recent one due to the buildings’ destruction and substandard reconstruction. Amir Hasan Beigi, Nematollah Shojaee and Khashayar Niroumand are the other members of the re-photographing team. Behnam Ghelich Khani and Moeen Mohammadi were analogue photographers of the book.

Some pages of volume two; Mosques of Esfahan


Cover photo by Hossein Farahani

From the preface of the book:

The first volume of the Ganjnameh series introduces the traditional mansions of Kashan, which can be considered a superb collection of the architecture of the Qajar period, i.e., architecture that has preserved numerous unique values of that period up to the present. It may be confidently asserted that rarely a traditional town can be found to house a comparable collection. Alongside their harmony and unity, the mansions of Kashan display also a broad variety in their design types, revealing the artistic capabilities of past architects in designing and creating space in the strictest sense.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Spring 1992

It has been seventeen years since the first edition of Mansions of Kashan got published. During this period, the Ganjnameh series has gotten better known in architectural circles, while also traditional houses of Kashan have become the focus of more attention. Some of the houses introduced in the first edition pictured in a ruined state have fortunately been restored or reconstructed in a sturdy and orderly manner as of today. Some of these houses are among featured attractions of present-day Kashan, and the destination of myriad visitors from many, sometimes very distant, locations. However though, some of the houses previously introduced have been demolished by now. But altogether, the true prominence and value of the mansions of Kashan has been restored now to a great degree in people’s views. Many books and papers have been published on subjects such as the town fabric as well as mansions of Kashan, and many discussions and seminars have been held on this subject during this period, all of which indicate a more interested approach of architectural researchers toward the subject. Moreover, it has been a few years that the first volume of this series has been out of print.

In this new edition, due to some restrictions, we have not added to the number of buildings introduced. Yet, all the text has been revised, and all the drawings have been reviewed and digitized. In addition, new higher quality photographs have replaced previous images, and also in some cases, clearer pictures have been added from the new image archive. The new text has been edited and repaginated in the style of other later volumes of the series. In this way, the book is practically anewed, especially with the efforts of Ms. Maryam-dokht Moosavi Rozati and Mr. Kayvan Jourabchi, both who are longtime partners of the Ganjnameh team, as well as other partners to whom I am truly grateful.

Kambiz Haji-Qassemi
Spring 2013

The photography of this volume’s new edition was done by Hossein Farahani with the highest number of photos and the other members of Ganjnameh’s photography team in 2008 and 2009. The photos were taken digitally. Some photos of the previous publication of the book which were slid films were reused for the recent one due to the buildings’ destruction and substandard reconstruction. Nematollah Shojaee and Amir Hasan Beigi are the other members of the re-photographing team. Behnam Ghelich Khani, Jalal Yashmi, Reza Tazrian, Moeen Mohammadi and Keyvan Joorabchi were analogue photographers of the book.

Some pages of volume one; Mansions of Kashan


From the preface of the book:

Although a past of several millennia lies behind the architecture of this land, it was only quite recently that efforts aimed at identifying and introducing its extant achievements were undertaken. Only a few decades have passed since scholars and researchers first began reviewing these works in order to wipe the dust from the face of these resplendent jewels and once again reveal their charming, familiar radiance.
The present collection must be considered one of the most significant steps yet taken in the direction of introducing the unknown accomplishments of this architecture. We have entitled it Ganjnameh literally ‘Treasure Book’), because we believe that it bears clues to a treasure the acquisition of which will assure our dignity and independence. Its importance becomes even more perceptible when we come to realize that extant plans of our monuments—drafted mostly by foreigners—do not exceed a few scores, and that photographs already published in this domain cover only a few of these relics. In addition, the mediocre quality of the majority of these documents greatly reduces their value and utility. Moreover, the scatter of published documents in various books and articles hinders their usability. And as concerns the study of the buildings’ history, lengthy ways must be covered in order to achieve meager results. Thus, it is not without reason that identifying and surveying historic relics and carrying out research in this domain are arduous, indeed impossible in some cases.

By bringing together complete and legible plans, clear and expressive images and a thematic authentic history of more than six hundred significant historic realizations*—ranging from mosques and madrasas to houses and baths—the Ganjnameh series seeks to not only initiate research in this domain but also encourage researchers, experts and all those interested to begin research of their own on these rich relics. Thus, a thematic order was adopted for the Ganjnameh series—in preference to the more common geographic one—in order to make it a handy tool for research. It is noteworthy that, wherever similar instances of a type of building exceeded a certain limit, a geographic, city by city, division has been introduced. For instance, in cases where documents concerning the houses of a city have reached a determined number, a full volume has been dedicated to the houses of that city, and when the specimens of a type of building were scattered in various cities, these have been gathered within one or several volumes. In this way, the thematic order has been preserved and the geographic order has been taken into consideration on a secondary basis, in proportion with the number of extant specimens.

Another point is that this collection was not brought into being overnight. Rather, it is the outcome of some forty years of relentless efforts on the part of the professors and students of the Architecture and Urban Planning Faculty of Shahid Beheshti University. Therefore, about a half of those who have studied architecture in this country may be said to have contributed to its creation. It must also be added that compiling and recording this collection would not have been realized if it were not for the assistance of the responsible authorities of this university and faculty, as well as the dedicated efforts and eagerness of several of this faculty’s students over the course of many years. Redrafting, complementing and ordering these documents has been ongoing since 1992, and it is hoped that this young manpower will succeed in reviving this ancient heritage.
As mentioned above, the volumes of the Ganjnameh follow a thematic order. The collection embraces almost every type of building. Five volumes introduce traditional houses in various cities (one volume includes the houses of Kashan, one volume the houses of Isfahan, one volume the houses of Yazd, and two volumes the houses of other cities), four volumes cover mosques (one volume the mosques of Isfahan, one volume the mosques of other cities, and two volume congregational mosques), three volumes are dedicated to emamzadehs and mausoleums, two volumes deal with bazaar buildings, one volume is dedicated to theological schools, one volume introduces caravansaries, one volume deals with baths, one volume concerns palaces and gardens, and one volume exceptionally introduces religious buildings in Tehran.

Book information:
Volume 1: Mansions of Kashan. -Volume 2: Mosques of Esfahan. –Volume 3: Spiritual Buildings of Tehran. –Volume 4: Mansions of Esfahan. –Volume 5: Theological Schools. –Volume 6: Mosques. –Volume 7: Congregational Mosques (Part 1). -Volume 8: Congregational Mosques (Part 2).  -Volume 9: Bazaar Buildings (Part 1). -Volume 10: Bazaar Buildings (Part 2). Volume 11: Emanzadehs and mausoleums (Part 1). Volume 12: Emanzadehs and mausoleums (Part 2). Volume 13: Emanzadehs and mausoleums (Part 3). -Volume 14: Yazd houses. Volume 15: Mansions (Part 1). Volume 16: Mansions (Part 2). -Volume 17: Caravansaries. Volume 18: Bathhouses. Volume 19: Gardens and Palaces (Part 1). Volume 20: Gardens and Palaces (Part 2).


he second year of Khayyam International Exhibition of Photography with the purpose of improving photography and arousing a colloquy between Iranian photographers and their peers from all around the world and also in commemoration of Hakim Omar Khayyam, the great Iranian scientist, philosopher and poet was held by Focus Photo Club, FIAP’s representative in Iran. 
KHAYYAM INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY is the only annual Persian Photo Exhibition with the patronage of both the Federation Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP), 2015/394 and the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), 2015/58. It is also conducted under the approved rules of the Photographic Society of America (PSA).

First and second years of Khayyam International Exhibition of Photography were the most participated festivals in Iran. It was the only Iranian festival which its number of foreign participants exceeded its Iranian ones. Selected works were shown in 32 cities. 

Photo : Mohammadreza Jabbari

Photo : Mohammadreza Jabbari

Five of Hossein Farahani`s works were accepted the festival and one of them was nominated for the best astrophotograph which eventually won the gold medal. Its closing ceremony took place in winter 2015.

closing ceremony, photo:

closing ceremony, photo:


International Photography award(IPA) in association with Lucie Foundation is one of the most popular and reliable international contests in which well-known international photographers compete to get the awards of its different categories every year. 
IPA 2014 granted Hossein Farahani four titles of “honourable mention”. Two individual photos and a series were praised in four categories. 

Human Footprint:

Here is the Earth; our mother; on which the human footprint has been always accompanied by corruption and disorder. The rivers which are running dry, the aquatic life which is dying, the forests which are being destroyed, all for human’s ambition. Changes in ecosystems have permanently been followed by environmental disruption and problems. Although still fighting for its survival and reconstruction, the Earth will retrieve its own right.

The Religious School of Seyed Ghelich Ishan

The Religious School of Seyed Ghelich Ishan

The pass

The pass

The 2014 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest

TWAN photo contest is an international reliable astrophotography contest. TWAN depicts a different aspect of astrophotography, in which a landscape picture from earth ends towards the night sky.  The photos do not show the deep-sky objects, but rather a combination of Earth and the sky. 
In the 2014 contest , ”Salt planet”, which was captured in the same year, was awarded by honourable mention. This photo which is the result of combining 150 photos with forty-five-second exposure (a total of 112 minute exposure) was captured in the center of Maranjab salt lake during an extremely gleeful indelible night. The light pollution on the horizon is of Varamin and Tehran which is visible from a distance of 100 kilometres.


Publication of the ninth volume of “Young Cities Research Papers Series” titled “Intelligent Design Using Solar-Climatic Vision” is the result of a decade of research on understanding sun’s effect on different climates and reaching the true path and lines to make a better and more stable connection...

The Publication of Sarvin Project in Natura Magazine


The architecture magazine Natura in issue number 13 (January-February 2014) published an administrative-commercial project designed by Behzad Ayati, Peyman Meydani and Mani Saham with photos taken by Hossein Farahani. Sarvin Project is located on Asef Street in Tehran.