Creating Shade in Arid Climates: A Welcoming Landscape Based on Zoroastrian Beliefs for the Towers of Silence

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Virginia Tech


This study develops a landscape design, which demonstrates how to change the microclimate in a historical public space (Towers of silence, in city of Yazd, designated as World Heritage Site, in the heart of Iran).

The arid historic city of Yazd is getting hotter. The increasing temperatures make it more and more difficult to use the public space. Towers of silence inherited from Zoroastrianism are stone cylindrical structures located on top of the hills within infertile land located south east of the city of Yazd.

This historic site brings visitors from around the world every year but the microclimate of the site it is not welcoming. The current layout does not provide information about the rich culture it entailed, and visitors are not able to understand the meaning that is behind these structures.

This design aims to improve the current conditions of these magnificent towers and utilize techniques like historical plan analysis, comparative analysis and experimental design study. Using landscape architecture to address the climate issue the proposed design translates Zoroastrian's beliefs to visitors as well as creating a more hospitable environment.



Tower of Silence, Arid Climate, Microclimate, Zoroastrian, Yazd, Iran