Urban regeneration: Vartan House, a must see!

A recently renovated early 20th villa in central Tehran is open to the public as a community arts centre. Vartan House, a 1930s three-floor villa with large garden and café is a beautiful respite from the busy city centre and is open daily to the general public and architecture buffs.

Downtown Tehran, if you do not already know, is becoming a hub of culture and creativity. Many of the rundown shop fronts along Enqelab Street, Baharestan Square and Taleqani Street have seen millions of dollars of municipal money spent on them to spruce up the areas.

Who was Vartan Hovanessian?

The building was design by Iranian-Armenian architect Vartan Hovanessian, he was an integral player in the development of 20th century Tehran architecture creating several buildings in Tehran including the central branch of Bank Sepah in downtown Tehran as well as the Ferdowsi, and Darband hotels to name a few.

Neglected for several decades the former architect’s home is now a centre for architecture with a café, art and crafts store and flower shop. The location also offers several conferences and seminars on the ground floor.


The home is also now the location of the annual Tehran Architecture Biennale, according to previous reports, with guests from the government often giving speeches on urban renewal.

Accordingly Tehran’s premier bookshop Shahr Ketab has taken over operations in conjunction with the Tehran Municipality to offer the location as a place to spend in the garden and drink a good cup of coffee.

Where is Vartan House?

Not far from Tehran University of Fine Arts, Vartan House is located in the central location of the west of Vali-Asr and Felestin (Palestine) Square. It is a large building so you will not miss it.

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