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Wesley Peters Pearl Palace
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9749

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ancient Persian architecture, seen mostly in mosques, the palaces not having survived quite so well, is magnificent, a beautiful representation of a great culture. Pearl Palace, not so much. I think peterm hit it on the head with his comment about McMansions. That's what this really is, a Persian McMansion. The lesser known Villa Mehrafarin looks much more interesting.
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egads



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 892
Location: Long Beach CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kitsch is kitsch even if it is Iranian. In fact, for those of us in Southern California, it often is Iranian.

How's that for elitist? As a group we all do have impeccable taste after all. Wink
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3864
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess this is as good a place as any to post this...
Some years ago, I found a faculty and alumni website for Damavand College, an English speaking institution north of Tehran that constructed a portion of a master planned campus by TAA and Wes Peters around the time of the Pearl Palace project. Some members of the community kindly posted pictures they had of the campus on the site so I could see them. Please note: with the exception of one aerial pic, these are not architectural photography focused on the buildings, they are instead snapshots of people with the buildings in the background. Nonetheless, they are about all we may ever see of a significant TAA commission that has been little known other than John Rattenbury's book.

Pics can be seen here: be sure to scroll down and look at both pages...

http://www.persepolis.com/programs/alumni-pictures.asp?ID=159&St=0&PicPgID=0
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9749

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There must be a transition between a vertical structure and a dome. FLW resolved that in both Marin and Orthodox. The Romans did a great job at the Pantheon. At Damavand, piers just support an inverted bowl. There's no relationship between base and dome. Otherwise, Damavand seems to be a fairly good design, what there is to be seen.
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jackaroux



Joined: 17 Jun 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick Grant wrote:
On pages 218-223 in "A Living Architecture, FLW and Taliesin Architects" by John Rattenbury (Pomegranate, 2000) are a few photos of both Pearl Palace and Villa Mehrafarin, a larger, more conventional building on the shores of the Caspian that the princess began to build shortly before the revolution forced her to relocate to Santa Barbara. The huge house was never finished. Only exteriors are shown, with the massive 12/12, blue, hipped, corrugated roof dominating, almost obliterating the walls below. Steve Nemtin went to Iran to oversee construction, so he might be the best source of information. Not so many years ago, several former apprentices, including Paul Bogart and Gratton Gill, went to Iran to see the buildings. I never heard what their impressions were, or even if their trip was successful. I'll ask Geiger about it.


Anybody have any idea where Villa Mehrafarin was located. I've done the GoogleEarth search in the area surrounding Chalus/Chalous with no luck. They do say on the internet that it was taken over by the local police. From the photos in the book mentioned above it looked like it was up in the hills. I did send an e-mail to Taliesin with no information received so far.
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 1096
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jackaroux wrote:
Anybody have any idea where Villa Mehrafarin was located. I've done the GoogleEarth search in the area surrounding Chalus/Chalous with no luck. They do say on the internet that it was taken over by the local police. From the photos in the book mentioned above it looked like it was up in the hills. I did send an e-mail to Taliesin with no information received so far.


Chalus is located about 50-60 miles straight north of Tehran, on the northern slope of the Elburz Mountains, overlooking the Caspian Sea. I'm not sure of the exact location, but it's high enough upslope to give tremendous views.

The roof design was inspired by traditional thatched-roofed houses found in the area. However, only several guest houses were built before the Revolution stopped all construction.


Last edited by Rood on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jackaroux



Joined: 17 Jun 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rood wrote:

Chalus is located about 50-60 miles straight north of Tehran, on the northern slope of the Elburz Mountains, overlooking the Caspian Sea. The roof design was inspired by traditional thatched-roofed houses found in the area. However, only several guest houses were built before the Revolution stopped all construction.


I had viewed the aerial image detail on Google Earth from Ramsar (West of Chalus), all the way to Ashraf Pahlavi's summer estate in Nour (East of Chalus), and in addition doing a deep scouring of imagery in Chalus itself. No luck picking up an exact location for such a structure thus far from aerial imagery - unless it was dramatically altered at some point, or removed completely. Really looking to discover the exact location of Villa Mehrafarin (in Chalus?). Anyone who worked on it or had visibility to building notes/instructions might remember where it was located (right in the town, in the hills, at beach, ...).
Closest guess I have on location is at 3638'49.88"N 5125'14.92"E with a large surrounding park-like area and many other structures.
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plant1965



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok folks u r getting off message! We all do not have to agree on every architect or building. I dislike some of FLLW'S buildings. but for the most part love his work with a passion. I like the pearl palace but I do see truth in some of the criticism. We do not have to all agree on its beauty or gaudy appearance (to some) so let's move on!
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goffmachine



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: More Images Reply with quote

I found this page with many images.

http://caoi.ir/index.php/en/projects/itemlist/tag/Nezam%20Ameri
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3864
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More recent pics of the Palace as it deteriorates...probably for the best from a social justice standpoint.

http://www.aroundtheworldin800days.com/blog/pearl-palace

http://istanews.ir/print/48650
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1498

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That monstrosity (sorry, Wes) had some interesting feature. I wonder if the $3.5 million included architectural fees. Interesting Olga is not mentioned in the credits, but she certainly must have been on top of things.
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 1096
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Ringstrom wrote:
As with most architectural firms projects completed by Taliesin Associated Architects were credited to the senior partner W.Wes Peters. The actual work was done by others.

Does anyone know who actually worked on this other than Montooth?


Wes designed the Pearl Palace, and I have a xerox copy of his original pencil sketch, but the project was large and complex ... Hence almost everyone in the draughting room eventually worked on some portion of the design, however small. I specifically recall John Hill going to Vienna to supervise the construction of the large and elaborate crystal light fixture designed for the ceiling of the dining room, and ... Cornelia Briely designed and supervised the landscaping, which was difficult, because of the heavy salt content in the local water and soil

Another relatively minor instance: Mrs. Wright suggested young apprentices submit drawings for a mural meant to augment a fireplace ... The design selected was an abstraction of flames ... drawn by a second-year student.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3864
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another cache of recent Pearl Palace photos (20 images) views and details not seen in other links:
http://onenewsbox.com/2017/05/03/shams-palace-in-karaj/
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3864
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From this, it would appear a restoration (or stabilization) of some kind may be in the offing:
https://financialtribune.com/articles/travel/85516/shams-palace-to-undergo-restoration

Newer pics:

https://yomadic.com/shams-palace-iran-tour/
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9749

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect Shams makes a more interesting ruin than it would as a restored palace.
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