Asymmetry in Persian Symmetrical Art and Architecture

Hourieh Mashayekh and Hayedeh Mashayekh
Bridges London: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2006)
Pages 585–586


Since ancient times, the integration of asymmetry in the design of composition has been a common practice in Iranian art and architecture in order to avoid problems such as topography and winds, and/or to comply with cultural and religious believes. This is manifested in mosques where the Mehrabs are[1] turned to the Qebla[2] to face in the direction of Mecca; in some entrances of mosques, public bath houses, or houses, in order to provide more privacy for the users; in town planning of large cities, in order to emphasize the old existing Friday mosques, or to avoid the direct access to a castle or governmental building; in the design of staircases, wind catchers, or in water distribution system; and in decorations such as tiling and miniatures