Water Architecture

Qazvin Summer University 2019 gives you a chance to learn about Iranian architecture, landscape and cities, which developed together into a highly sophisticated hydraulic civilization.



Qazvin, former capital of Persia, is located onthe silk road, at thefoothill of Alborz mountains and alongside the desert. Among its numerous national heritage, Qazvin is encircled with traditional gardens, a unique example of green belt among Iranian cites and in the world.


2,5 week

The summer schoolprogramme includes 12 days of intensive workshop, fieldwork and conferences in Qazvin, as well as 5 days of guided excursions in world famous cities of Yazd and Isfahan.



A Certificate of Qualification is awarded by the organizing Chair to each student who passes the summer school final jury. It testifies the student’s skills and abilies to design and plan landscape and architecture projects within a multidisciplinary team.


Qazvin Summer School 2019

The Qazvin Summer Schoolprogram includes 12-day workshop and field visits as well as a 5-day excursion to Yazd and Isfahan. The workshop will bring together thirty participants from various countries and disciplines, to imagine the future of the greenbelt of historic gardens encircling the city of Qazvin. Based on field research, conferences and group work with local stakeholders, students will have to design a challenging proposal for valuing their landscape, hydraulic and environmental potentials in relation with a fast growing city.As part of the Summer School, 2-day field trips around Qazvin region and 5-day guided excursion are organized to discover the most fascinating water architecture sites in Iran, including Unesco World Heritage City of Yazd with its hydraulic system of qanats, and former capital of Persia Isfahan, with its palaces, gardens and bridges over the once perennial Zayandeh Rud river.


The Water Architecture International Chair 


How is the summer school organized?

The summer school is composed of :

  • Lectures and conference all given in English (mornings)
  • Workshop groups composed of international students from different countries and different disciplines (afternoons)
  • Field visits around Qazvin and field work with local stakeholders, inhabitants, site users, NGOs, local authorities...
  • 5-day excursion to Yazd and Tehran after end of workshop
  • Final expected production include research report, design project and proposals for the City of Qazvin

Who can apply ?

As the offical summer school language is english, applications are opened to international students proficient in English from the fields of:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape architecture
  • Engineering (civil, hydraulic and other related fields)
  • Design
  • Urban design and planning
  • Geography and other land planning related subject areas

Master or equivalent level students can apply. Graduates and young professionals are also invited to participate. Applications will be examined and admissions announced by the International Water Architecture Chair’s selection committee.

Important dates and deadlines

  • Application Deadline : June 30, 2019
  • Admissions announced : July 5, 2019
  • Final registration and payment deadline : July 15, 2019
  • Summer school workshop opening : August 27, 2019
  • Summer school jury and closing ceremony : September 7, 2019
  • Summer school excursion : September 7 to 12, 2019



Architect / Researcher

ENSA Paris Malaquais / LIAT/ Paris Est University


Historian / Researcher Professor Emeritus 

National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM)


Architect / Landscape Architect Researcher / Professor

Inter.University of Qazvin(IKIU)


Architect / Researcher Professor

ENSA Nantes and Mauritius


Engineer / Urban Designer / Professor

ENSA Nantes and Mauritius


Architect/ Urbanist

National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM)


Geographer / Researcher Professor

ENSA Paris Malaquais / LIAT


Architect / Researcher Professor

ENSA Paris Malaquais / LIAT


Product, Space and Research Designer

Studio Isabelle Daëron


Architect / Researcher Professor

ENSA Paris Malaquais / LIAT


Registration fee of 550€ includes :

  • Conferences & guest lectures
  • Workshops & field visits in Qazvin
  • Welcome & Farewell Dinner events
  • Breakfast and lunch during summer school and excursion (17 days)
  • All accommodation in Iran (Qazvin-Yazd-Isfahan)
  • All national transportation in Iran (Tehran-Qazvin-Yazd-Isfahan-Tehran)
  • Contact, support and help during application, preparation and travelling in Iran
  • Enrolment & administration

Registration fee of 550€ does not includes :

  • Flight tickets from Europe to Iran
  • Dinners outside welcome & farewell events
  • Personal travel expenses
  • Your personal travel insurance costs
  • Visa tax to be paid at Tehran airport (includes insurance covering medical costs)

The Chair can help a limited number of students with small scholarships covering part of these fees. Students with no financial resource but wishing to participate are invited to let us know about their financial situation.


Accommodation is organized and taken in charge for all registered students during all Summer School including excursions. During workshop (12 days), accommodation at Qazvin will be provided by the university of Qazvin in one of its residences near the main campus of the university in the city. During excursion in Yazd and Isfahan, students will be accommodated in restored historic houses within these two old cities.


Summer School Subjects

Hydraulic Engineering and Architecture

Analyse and understand existing irrigation systems, water supply networks and infrastructures. Design and plan evolution pathways for water systems in relation with gardens, architecture and urban projects.

Green Belt Planning

Analyse today’s urban growth of Qazvin region, understand its historical origins, design and plan a future evolution scheme for the limits betwen city and nature, improving links between gardens and urban area.

Design with Water

Learn about hydraulic and climate conditions, identify needs for public space and amenities and design them in relation with flows of water at architectural, urban and territorial scales.

Urban agriculture

Value economically, environmentally and culturally the production harvested in the gardens to move towards local circular economy and sustainable urban agriculture, based on traditional know how in gardening.

A collective design process

Work with locals (municipality, inhabitants, NGOs, associations of users, farmers, land owners, water operators) towards a common vision and propose collective design and cooperation project for Qazvin gardens.

Cultural landscape and heritage

Learn about practices that shaped the gardens’s cultural landscape which strongly identified the Qazvin region (nowrouz festival, harvesting celebrations...), and how they can keep this heritage alive.