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A Colleague's Impression,

He was simple, lived and worked simply. He detested ceremonies and social halls – vitrins of show offs and braggings. He did not receive gold medal or prize. He used to come to work, sit in a corner, read and think for hours. He seldom talked. It was impossible to drag him into an argument even over works and plans.

Once with the intention of drawing him into a debate, we went to his office. The talks were on the project of Kerman’s 250-bed Hospital. We, the people in charge of installations, wished to argue with him over the routes of pipes and cables. He grinned and said; "tell me where you need the pipes, give them to me and I'll make them right." We returned empty handed.

It was impossible to drag him into debates. He would sit quietly, read and ponder patiently. Then (before the emergence of the heavy presence of computer) he would draw on small checkered papers. With these lines and angles, spaces would come alive. The residential places, office areas, then for days and days maybe for nights, he used to sit, read and contemplate without a word. Then these spaces would grow wings, like growing of a child, like a flower pot in blossom. And in the formation of these spaces, and the relations between them, thousand factors would influence, interfere and be calculated. The turning of sun in days and nights during the months in the year, providing natural light, using natural air ventilation, observing the fire and smoke codes, people’s interaction, routes of human communication, the required spaces, installations, their proportions and beauty and hundreds of other elements each having hand in this formation and today the result of his last round of studies and thoughts is sitting over the heights of north Tehran as Iran’s National Library.

A mass of brick coloured piles, without claim, without show off, without colourful glasses, without glittering entrances that shows off to every new comer and reminds him of his worthlessness and inferiority, but full of mystification, unknown and maze like, similar to the Bam Basilica full of mysteries, such as culture and history of this land of unknown, the result of his work, thoughts and readings.

He was kind and sincere. Even though he rarely talked but smiled at everyone. Everybody loved him because he loved all the human beings and today in this hall, his heavy but pleasant shadow in today’s notorious and tense era gives us peace. Peace with despair, his shadow as a man and as an architect is present. His memory is present and gives us peace and energy.

 

In the memory of Yousef Shariatzadeh

Heshmatollah Monsef

 

monsef