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Dr. Noureddin Kianouri (Persian: نورالدین کیانوری‎) (1915 Nour, Tehran – 5 November 1999 from Kia'i dynasty of Tabaristan) was an Iranian architect and political leader. He was an influential member of the Central Committee for the communist Tudeh Party.[1] He acted as the party's General Secretary from 1979 to 1984.[2]

Noureddin Kianouri
Noureddin Kianouri 1.jpg
Died5 November 1999(1999-11-05) (aged 84)
Tehran, Iran
Other namesSilvio Macetti (N.K.)
Alma materUniversity of Tehran
Aachen University
Political partyTudeh Party of Iran
Spouse(s)Maryam Farman Farmaian


Kianouri was son of Agha Mirza Mehdi Nouri & Zahra Khanoum Soltani Nouri, and grandson of Sheikh Fazlollah Noori & Sakineh Nouri Tabrasi (Daughter of Mirza Husain Noori Tabarsi). Kianouri was educated in Germany, receiving a Phd in Construction Engineering from Aachen University in 1939. After returning to Iran Together with several other architects he founded the Association of Iranian Architects in 1945[citation needed], whose members were put in charge of the design and planning of large-scale housing projects, first in Tehran and later in other cities. These housing projects became a test ground for the new socialist way of life.[citation needed] He taught at Tehran University.

In the early 1940s, he married feminist and communist activist Maryam Firouz. On 4 February 1949, the Tudeh Party was accused of an assassination attempt on the Shah during an annual ceremony to commemorate the founding of the University of Tehran. The party subsequently was banned and most of its leaders were imprisoned. Following the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and the subsequent banning of the Tudeh Party, Kianuori After two years in jail Kianouri escaped from prison and fled first to Iraq and then to Italy. There, with the help of the Italian Communist Party, he received a new identity as Dr. Silvio Macetti (N.K.), a professor of architecture, whose works and writings are still valid references for the theory of socialist architecture.[citation needed] Later he lived with his wife Maryam Firouz in exile in East Germany.

In 1955 Macetti moved to East Berlin and was later appointed as one of the research directors of the Bauakademie der DDR [de] (DBA) developing theories of socialist architecture and urban planning in close cooperation with his Russian partner Georgy A. Gradov (Russian: Градов, Георгий Александрович). In their[who?] absence, they were tried by the regime of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi and sentenced to hard labour for life.[3] He stayed there till 1977 when he was selected as the Secretary General of the Iranian Communist Party.

The couple returned to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the deposition of the Shah. The Tudeh party was reinstituted with Kianouri as General Secretary. Leaving his double identity behind,[4] he returned to Iran in support of the 1979 Revolution, but a few years after, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment, accused of working for the Soviet Union as a spy. However, Kianouri's (aka. Silvio Macetti N.K.) theories of the socialist architecture and city indirectly found their ways to the Iranian architectural scene. "Macetti's" work was widely referred to by others, many of whom were members of the Association of Iranian Architects.[citation needed] His legacy has essentially turned the domestic architecture of Iranian cities into spaces of resistance.[citation needed] When public spaces of cities are policed and controlled, the interiors become crucial stages for political manifestation.

In 1983, the Tudeh Party was again banned following accusations of espionage for the Soviet Union.[5] Kianouri was imprisoned and later forced to publicly confess on a televised broadcast.[6] After his release to house arrest in the mid 90s, Kianouri wrote an open letter detailing the torture of himself and his wife while in prison.[2][7]

He died on 5 November 1999,[8] in his home confinement.

Some articles and Architecture books of Noureddin Kianouri (Silvio Macetti)Edit

  • 1950, Buildings of "Health and Care" Noureddin Kianouri Tehran
  • 1965, "Grosswohneinheiten-Article" 10/1965 Deutsche Architektur VEB Verlag für Bauwesen Berlin, 1965, "Noureddin Kianouri" under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti"
  • 1966, Zeit und Raum – Entscheidende Faktoren der künftigen Entwicklung der sozialistischen Architektur.In: Deutsche Architektur (1966), H. 1, S. 10–11,
  • 1969, "Ein Aktuelles Problem-Grosswohneinheiten" Deutsche Architektur Band 18 ausgabe 7-12 Deutsche Bauakademie, Bund Deutsche Architekten, original von: Pennsylvania State University digitalisiert 21.sep.2010. "Noureddin Kianouri" under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti"
  • 1967, "Konzeption NK — ein Vorschlag für den industriellen Wohnungsbau" Noureddin Kianouri under codename "Silvio Macetti" Deutsche Architektur 3/1967 Sächsische Zeitung Krankenhaus Rostock Interpelz
  • 1956-1966, "Großwohneinheiten" Noureddin Kianouri under codename "Macetti,Silvio. N.K." VEB für Bauwesen[9]
  • 1968, "Wohnhochhäuser" Noureddin Kianouri under codename "Macetti, Silvio" Zeitschrift Deutsche Architektur 8/1968
  • 1968, "Probleme des Wohnungsbaus" Noureddin Kianouri under codename "Macetti, Silvio" Zeitschrift Deutsche Architektur 10/1968
  • 1970, "Die weitere Entwicklung der sozialistischen Lebensweise und das Problem des städtischen Personenverkehrs" Noureddin Kianouri under codename "Silvio Macetti"
  • 1970, Sozialistische Architektur kontra Konvergenztheorie, Heinz Heuer. Umfrage: Perspektiven der sozialistischen Architektur, Edmund Collein u. a. Bernhard Geyer, Noureddin Kianouri under codname Dr. Silvio Macetti, Otto Patze Helmut Trauzettel. Zeitschrift Deutsche Architektur 8/1970
  • 1971, Ökonomie der Stadt und komplexe Ökonomie des Städtebaus, "Noureddin Kianouri" under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti" Zeitschrift Deutsche Architektur 10/1971
  • 1971, Сильвио Масетти - Крупные жилые комплексы Издание: Издательство литературы по строительству, Москва, 1971 Объем: 185 стр.
  • 1972, Wo steht mein Bett im Jahre 2000? "Noureddin Kianouri" under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti" Zeitschrift "form+Zweck"
  • Ökonomie der Freizeit und Stadtgestalt — Silvio Macetti (Berlin)
  • 1968-1978 "Skizze einer Problemstellung für die Ausarbeitung einer Wissenschaftlichen Prognose der entscheidenden Entwicklungstendenzen des Städtbaus und der Architektur bis zum Jahre 2000 und darüber hinaus, Deutsche Bauakademie zu Berlin, Wissenschafliche Direktion, Abteilung Prognose (unv. Mat.)", "Noureddin Kianouri" under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti"
  • 1979, "Die komplexe Ökonomie der baulich-räumlichen Umwelt" Noureddin Kianouri under codename Dr. "Silvio Macetti", DH2/21675 Bundes Archive


  1. ^ Maziar Behrooz, "Tudeh Factionalism and the 1953 Coup in Iran", International Journal of Middle East Studies (2001), 33:3:363–382 Cambridge University Press
  2. ^ a b Haleh Afshar, "Maryam Firouz", Obituary, The Guardian, 31 March 2008
  3. ^ Hamed Khosravi : The Double Life of N.K. collections and events at IISH. ( Hamed Khosravi is an architect, writer and educator. He was a research fellow at the IISG and a lecturer at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture.)
  4. ^ In alten und neuen Städten, Silvio Macetti (N.K.), gewidmet Georg Piltz.
  5. ^ Cameron Hume, The United Nations, Iran, and Iraq: How Peacemaking Changed, Indiana University Press (May 1, 1994), pg. 62
  6. ^ Ali Gheissari, Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty, Oxford University Press, (2006), pg. 96
  7. ^ Maziar Behrooz, Rebels with a Cause, (2000), p.129
  8. ^ "Death of Noureddin Kianouri", The Guardian (Communist Party of Australia), Issue No: 980, November 17, 1999
  9. ^ Grosswoheinheiten (VEB Verlag), Silvio Macetti N.K.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Iraj Eskandari
First-Secretary of the Tudeh Party of Iran
Succeeded by
Ali Khavari
Preceded by
Second-Secretary of the Tudeh Party of Iran
Succeeded by
Farajollah Mizani