Pearl Palace

Coordinates: 35°47′16″N 50°53′12″E / 35.78778°N 50.88667°E / 35.78778; 50.88667
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Pearl Palace
Kakh-e ُShams (Persian: كاخ شمس)
Former namesKakh-e ُMorvarid (Persian: كاخ مروارید)
Alternative namesKakh-e Shams
كاخ شمس,
Shams Palace,
Morvarid Palace
General information
Architectural styleModernist
Town or cityMehrshahr, Karaj, Alborz Province
CompletedApproximately 1972
RenovatedNovember 2020
Cost$3.5 million[1]
ClientPrincess Shams Pahlavi
Mehrdad Pahlbod[1]
OwnerMinistry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism
Technical details
Floor area16,145 sq ft (1,499.9 m2)[2]
Grounds420 acres (170 ha) at the time of conception[3]
Design and construction
Architecture firmTaliesin Associated Architects
William Wesley Peters,
Amery-Kamooneh-Khosravi Consulting Architects of Tehran
Structural engineerThomas Casey
Other designersStephen M. Nemtin
Frances Nemtin
Cornelia Brierly,
John deKoven Hill

Pearl Palace (Persian: کاخ مروارید; Romanized: kakh-e Morvarid / Kāx-e Morvārid ), also known as Shams Palace[4] (Persian: کاخ شمس; Romanized: kakh-e Shams / Kāx-e Šams) is an estate in Iran, designed by Taliesin Associated Architects (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)[3] on instructions from princess Shams Pahlavi, elder sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. It was built in the early 1970s and is located in the Mehrshahr neighborhood, in Karaj City, Iran.[when?][5]


Pearl Palace (2018) interior

The Taliesin Associated Architects (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation) had three buildings built in Iran which include the Damavand Higher Educational Institute (presently known as Payam-e Nour University's Tehran campus), the summer residence of Shams known as Mehrafarin Palace in Chalus (presently occupied by the local police), and the most prestigious, the Pearl Palace.[1]

The Taliesin Associated Architects, William Wesley Peters, Amery-Kamooneh-Khosravi Consulting Architects of Tehran all served as architects for the project and Thomas Casey served as the civil engineer.[1][6] The interior design and furniture was designed by John deKoven Hill and Cornelia Brierly.[3] The landscape design was done by Francis Nemtin.[3]

The palace was built on roughly 170 hectares (420 acres) of rolling hills and featured an artificial lake.[3][7] The building is around 1,499.9 square metres (16,145 sq ft) and made of concrete, with two main domes and a "ziggurat" style structure, all connected by stairs and a large ramp.[3][2] Throughout the structure circular patterns are highlighted.[3] The building space included an office, living room, family dining room, a swimming pool, a cinema, a "rare bird hall", and bedrooms.[3][7][8]

After the revolution[edit]

After the Iranian Revolution, the Mostazafan Foundation seized all assets owned by the royal family, including Shams Palace.[9] The majority of the complex was occupied by a local Baseej unit who are neglecting its upkeep. The building was recognized as a cultural heritage only in 2002, and registered by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism (Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization), who took control of portions of the building due to its historical significance.[9] Small parts were opened to the public (in 2015) as a result of pressure from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism.[10]

It is currently in need of repairs; in November 2020, the building was scheduled to undergo rehabilitation work.[11] The restoration was estimated to cost $8–$13 million (300–500 billion rials) in 2017.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Kasraie, Nima (June 4, 2004). "Spiraling into Oblivion, A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick". The Iranian. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  2. ^ a b Ṣārimī, Katāyūn (1993). موزه‌هاى ايران [Museums of Iran] (in Persian). سازمان ميراث فرهنگى کشور،.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Pearl Palace (Morvarid palace)". Contemporary Architecture of Iran. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  4. ^ YJC, خبرگزاری باشگاه خبرنگاران | آخرین اخبار ایران و جهان | (2022-02-11). "کاخ مروارید؛ رازهایی که در دل یک صدف پنهان است". fa (in Persian). Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  5. ^ Arani, M. Masjini (2018-02-22). "مروارید مهجور کرج". Archived from the original on 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  6. ^ "Prairie's Creator Returns To Oversee Another Expansion". The Journal Times (Racine, Wisconsin). 6 March 2004. pp. 11, 13. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  7. ^ a b "イランの博物館、美術館、宮殿" [Morvarid Palace-Mueum]. (in Japanese). 2009-03-16. Archived from the original on 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  8. ^ "معماری نیوز - کاخ مروارید (شمس) را چگونه فروختند؟ + اسناد" [How did they sell the Pearl Palace (Shams)?]. Memarinews (in Persian). 2014-05-22. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  9. ^ a b c "Shams Palace Not Yet Under ICHHTO Ownership". Financial Tribune. 2017-05-07. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  10. ^ "درِهای کاخ مروارید به روی مردم باز می‌شود" [The doors of the Pearl Palace open to the people]. 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  11. ^ "'Pearl' Palace to undergo urgent restoration". Tehran Times. 2020-11-29. Retrieved 2021-04-06.

External links[edit]

35°47′16″N 50°53′12″E / 35.78778°N 50.88667°E / 35.78778; 50.88667