One of the defining characteristics of humanity is the desire to preserve memories of the past. Monuments and tombs are constructed as a result of this trait, and in Iran, the tradition of building religious tombs has a long history. The design of the Shafaq tomb aimed to preserve the familiar signs of Iranian religious architecture while also creating a modern effect.
By studying past tombs, it was concluded that domes, inscriptions, and geometric motifs were key elements of this type of architecture due to their frequent use.
To create a sense of privacy and hierarchy, the tomb was divided into two closed spaces for the graves and an open space for the surroundings. The closed space took the form of a dome with a long stem, reaching a dome with a semicircular arch at the top for unity. The use of soil-colored bricks alongside turquoise glazed bricks symbolized the unity of earth and sky in Muslim religious life. Fourteen arches with equal distance from each other were created by parallel cuts from heaven to earth to allow light, wind, and rain to enter inside and provide a platform for Quranic inscriptions.
Inscriptions were designed to resemble Iranian calligraphy inspired by the script of the Baysunghur Qur’an. The horizontal diagram of the writings conflicted with the 14 columns placed side by side in steps. To ensure that each independent inscription was received together as a whole unit, the researcher’s script was combined in two back-and-forth seats, creating a composition where letters felt like particles of light trying to join each other.
The graves were connected to the tradition of Sabat (covered pathway in traditional architecture of Iran) with a white concrete roof adorned with eight-pointed star motifs. This provided shade from the desert sun and acted as an entrance gate to the cemetery. Turquoise glaze on brick backgrounds of the floor continued the same motifs that resembled water in the heart of the desert. And finally, some motifs were decorated as small oases in the tomb area.