Oil, Utopia, and the Architecture of the Off-Modern: The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Planning in 1930s Iran

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


In the generic discourse of architecture, a large body of work has been written regarding the town planning imposed on the British colonies, including India and Australia. However, there are only a few materials that address some aspects of the architecture that emerged at the time of British domination of the Iranian oil rich regions. In particular, the housing and town planning of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company has been severely neglected in both generic and Iranian discourses of architecture.. There are a variety of reasons for the lack of knowledge, including the location of these industries and the depletion of oil reserves in many of them. The town planning and the oil industry developments mostly took place in remote locations with harsh environments. As a result, only a few scholars have managed to visit and record these projects. In addition, after the exhaustion of oil resources, the company usually would leave the town and sold the houses to the public, which caused complete destruction or transformation to these undiscovered heritages. The industrial suburbs located in Haftkel, Gach Saran, or Naft Sefid could be an example justifying the argument. After the end of oil extraction, the Anglo-Iranian company left the management of the industrial oil towns. Subsequently, the built houses were faced with severe transformations or termination by their new residents mainly due to the lack of management and maintenance. In addition, their remote location and the migra tion left no hope of these legacies surviving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Visibility of Modernization in Architecture: A Debate
Subtitle of host publication A Debate
EditorsGevork Hartoonian
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781003257776
ISBN (Print)9781032191232
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Oil, Utopia, and the Architecture of the Off-Modern: The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Planning in 1930s Iran'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this