Document Type : Original Research Paper
1 Ph.D. Candidate in Architecture, Department of Architecture, UAE Branch, Islamic Azad University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
2 Professor, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Art, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
Providing opportunities for social interactions is one of the most critical features of space. When interacting with each other, people in a community build a stronger emotional connection with their social place and space. Not only does this interaction affect the social psyche of that community, but also leads to the economic growth and development of the communities in those spaces, such as workers-industrial sites and estates.
Since a variety of chemical, food, pharmaceutical, and other manufacturing industries have come together, industrial estates today encompass the essential activities of human beings. Residents and employees of these estates, both employers and employees, have gathered at various levels for economic reasons. Unfortunately, voluntary and social activities in these estates are negligible due to their architecture. The better the quality of physical spaces in industrial estates, the more social interactions are possible under group activities, such as talking, playing and exercising, watching, and so on. Thus, interactive spaces in industrial estates, such as teahouses, sports stations, mosques, etc., take on the characteristics of a place and, at the same time, have the characteristics of vitality and civic life as a result of mandatory and voluntary activities.
On the other hand, Fars (Pars), an old state in Iran, needed the boundaries of the labor settlement to establish a large city with ideal characteristics. The city was founded under the name of Persepolis at the heart of the Achaemenid Empire about 2500 years ago (518 to 494 BC) by the Achaemenid kings: Darius (c. 522-486 BC), and Xerxes I (c. 486-465 BC). Founding the city of Persepolis (in Greek) required a considerable number of workers and artisans, not only from Iran but also from other parts of the world, such as Egypt, Hittite, and Greece. These people settled in the sites and estates around Persepolis and engaged in their (mandatory) work duties apart from voluntary duties.
Therefore, this study aims to investigate and explain the social interactions in labor sites in the Achaemenid period and the architecture of modern industrial estates. Among the various architectural factors, such as physical, functional, and spiritual factors, the authors considered the space/body factor. This study uses a descriptive-analytical and historical method in a documentary manner based on desk research. To document the labor areas around Persepolis, several thousand treasury and fortification clay tablets were used, in addition to Greek and Babylonian sources.
Persepolis court documents were examined with regard to workers and specialists in the precincts of Persepolis, as well as exploring various texts related to social interactions. The results indicate that the quality of the physical environment in labor-industrial sites and estates depended on a variety of factors. One of these factors is associated with the physical structure of the environment, such as safety and security, diversity and adaptability of applications, climatic comfort, density and proper capacity, accessibility, attractiveness, and vitality. According to the documents provided, not only did the Achaemenid labor sites succeed in establishing social interactions between Iranian and non-Iranian workers with the facilities and ideas coincident with the opinions of their time, but they also created a lively and attractive environment, reflected in Persepolis court documents – Persepolis treasury and fortification tablets.
At Persepolis labor sites, there were peoples of different nationalities, professions, and specializations, who usually worked together as a family. In these estates, the topics of landscape, attractiveness, vitality, and climatic comfort were considered, and various agricultural and horticultural items were cultivated in appropriate places. According to archeological and historical documents, and most importantly, the tablets numbered 144 to 158 of fortification, the precincts of Persepolis were surrounded by various campuses (paradises). These campuses were used both as animal shelters, including wild animals in various gardens and orchards, which provided food for the workers and the royal family. In terms of accessibility, these estates had a number of stores and cooperatives to provide comfort and well-being for workers. In this way, they could provide the goods and food they needed, such as flour, sheep, and wine. Not only stores but even branches of well-known banks such as Egibi Bank had representatives in some of those places. In terms of readability and integrity, the Achaemenids used Iranian and global mythological and cultural symbols and elements in the designs of bricks, stones, and tile-work. By combining the appearances of beings with spiritual and heavenly meanings, they were able to create new forms that guided humankind to worlds larger and higher than the existence and environment of their daily lives and associated them with their celestial powers.
However, modern industrial estates are, unfortunately, not interactive spaces for workers because they ignore the above elements. Given the importance and role of humans in space, one of the essential tasks in the architectural design of industrial estates is, therefore, to pay attention to interactive spaces. Properly considered in the design, it will lead to economic growth and development in those industrial estates and, consequently, in the whole country.