Published in DASH#12-13 – Global Housing
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TehranGruzen & Partners

During the 1960s and 1970s, the close economic ties between the USA and Iran encouraged many American firms to develop various mega-projects in Iran. In  1966, the Iranian Ministry of Housing asked Victor Gruen to prepare a comprehensive master plan for Tehran in collaboration with his Iranian partner Abdolaziz Farmanfarmaian. Gruen’s urban theory, entitled The Heart of our Cities, is based on a hierarchy of urban structures in which the commercial centres have priority. He envisaged the metropolis of tomorrow as a central city surrounded by ten additional cities, each with its own centre. This resembled Ebenezer  Howard’s Social Cities, in which a central city was surrounded by a cluster of garden cities. These ideas inspired Gruen to expand the border of Tehran and plan many new suburban residential districts. As a result of his planning, in 1968 a pilot project known as Ekbatan was commissioned by the Tehran Redevelopment
Corporative Company on the west side of Tehran. Rahman Golzar and Jordan Gruzen of the American office Gruzen & Partners were asked to collaborate with Victor Gruen to design the biggest residential complex in the Middle East at the time: 15,500 housing units for about 70,000 inhabitants in an area of 221 ha . . .