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Hooshang Seyhoun

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Houshang Seyhoun
هوشنگ سیحون
Houshang Seyhoun

(1920-08-22)August 22, 1920
DiedMay 26, 2014(2014-05-26) (aged 93)
Alma materUniversity of Tehran
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
Occupation(s)Architect, sculptor, painter
(m. 1950; div. 1973)
DesignTomb of Ferdowsi
Mausoleum of Omar Khayyám
Avicenna Mausoleum
Tomb of Nader Shah

Houshang Seyhoun, (August 22, 1920 – May 26, 2014; Persian: هوشنگ سیحون) was an Iranian architect, sculptor, painter, scholar and professor.

He studied fine arts at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and earned a degree in architecture from University of Tehran.[1]

Seyhun is noted specially for his innovative and creative architectural design. His architectural legacy includes countless monuments and over one thousand private villas. After the Iranian Revolution he moved to Vancouver and lived in exile until his death.[2][3] S

Seyhoon became famous for his design work in the 1950s in Iran, including: Tehran's Central Railway Station and tombs of scientific/literary figures (such as the Avicenna Mausoleum in Hamadan).[4] He has been a faculty member of Tehran University's College of Architecture, where he also served as Dean of the College of Fine Arts (Beaux arts) of Tehran University for six years.[3]


He was born into a Baha'i family renowned for music.[5] His grandfather, Mirza Abdollah Farahani, was a pioneer in traditional music and is known as the father of traditional music in Iran. His mother, Mowloud Khanom, played Setar, and his uncle, Ahmad Ebadi, was Setar's Ostad (Maestro).

Houshang Seyhoun began his academic journey at the College of Art and Architecture (Honarkadeh), studying under Andre Godard and Maxime Siroux. Within this educational framework, students were afforded the choice of three architectural design studios, with Seyhoun electing to enroll in Siroux's studio, citing the latter's profound dedication to and affinity for Iran as a pivotal factor in his decision-making process.

After finishing his studies in architecture at Tehran University, he went to Paris to continue his education at the invitation of Andre Godard. Seyhoun's prior architectural victories in competitions, particularly in designing mausoleums for Ferdowsi and Ebne Sina, solidified his reputation. His academic journey reached its pinnacle with the completion of his formal training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1948, highlighted by his final project "Le mausolée d'Avicenne à Hamadan."[6]After three years of education under the supervision of Othello Zavaroni, he received his Ph.D. in art. After returning to Iran, he created his first work at the age 23, a memorial monument on the grave of Abu-Ali Sina.

Subsequently, Seyhoun's ascent within academia led him to assume the role of dean at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran, succeeding Mohsen Foroughi in 1961.[6] As dean, Seyhoun revamped the curriculum to include instruction on Iranian historical architecture. He led his students in exploring diverse structures across Iran, and their collaboration with the antiquities department resulted in the elevation of numerous neglected buildings to the status of historic sites.

Seyhoun's architectural innovations also extended to designing monuments honoring Iranian poets and polymaths, such as the acclaimed Tomb of Omar Khayyam.[6] He was a member of The National Committee of Archeology, The High Committee of Urbanization, The Central Committee of All Universities of Iran, and The International Committee of Icomos, and for 15 years, he was in charge of repairing historical constructions in Iran.

He believed that a good architect must, like a poet, be simple and easy.

His body was buried wrapped in the three-color lion-and-sun flag of Iran and A Derafsh Kaviani in a coffin in Forest Lawn's graveyard in Los Angeles. In his will, he asked that all his paintings and drawings be given to a museum in Iran.


Seyhoun's work includes several monuments such as the Avicenna Mausoleum in Hamadan, Tomb of Ferdowsi and Tomb of Nader Shah in Mashhad and Omar Khayyam Mausoleum in Nishapur.


  1. ^ "Houshang Seyhoun". iranchamber. 2014-05-26.
  2. ^ "Houshang Seyhoun Dies". BBC. 2014-05-26.
  3. ^ a b "Hooshang Seyhoun Biography". Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Trends in Modern Iranian Architecture" (PDF). Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  5. ^ "8 Dey News: Pro-president media mourn the death of Houshang Seyhoun".
  6. ^ a b c Salari Sardari, Mohadeseh (2024-03-04). "Andre Godard and Maxime Siroux: Disentangling the Narrative of French Colonialism and Modern Architecture in Iran". Iranian Studies: 1–29. doi:10.1017/irn.2024.10. ISSN 0021-0862.

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