Set at the foot of the Alborz mountains, Tehran, once an agricultural enclave characterized by forests and abundant mountain water, developed at the site of a citadel since medieval times. Tehran was first walled during the Safavid era, in the mid-sixteenth century. With the decline of other regional centers, Tehran replaced Shiraz as the capital of the Zand dynasty in the mid-eighteenth century, before being proclaimed the capital of the succeeding Qajar dynasty in 1795. Tehran flourished under Qajar patronage, and the city gained the addition of various gardens and complexes, perhaps the most notable being the Kakh-i Gulistan, or Gulistan Palace.
By the early twentieth century, these walls were subsumed by the continually expanding city, as the population growth reached half a million. From 1870-2/1287-9 AH, Nasir al-Din undertook the city's modernization, extending the city walls, adding decorative towers and twelve new, tiled gates. Inspired by the urban development of Paris under Napoleon III, which al-Din had witnessed personally on a visit abroad in 1873, the new walls were designed with the work of Sebastien Leprestre de Vauban in mind, and the area north of the original city transformed to the likeness of the Boulevard Haussman. New avenues and squares were constructed, among them; Meydan-e Tupkhane (Cannon Square) , Avenue Lalezar (Tulipbed Street), and Ala Od Dwale Under al-Din's direction the city quadrupled in size, and many of the gardens surrounding the city were used for further construction. The Kakh-i Gulistan was rebuilt, and became the centerpiece of the city, with the addition of turreted towers, supervised by Dust 'Ali Khan Nizam al Dawla. Polychrome tiles replaced the painted ornamentation in much of the complex, as did carved stucco and decorative mirror-work. In addition to the Kakh-i Gulistan, summer palaces were constructed in the Shimiranat villages in the city's northern suburbs.
Tehran yet again underwent expansion and modernization efforts in the mid-twentieth century, as the prosperity that accompanied the exploitation of oil from the 1950s accelerated the growth of the city. In 1979, Tehran became a hub for revolutionary activities, aimed at concluding the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The city has continued to be a site of development, with over half of Iran's total industry being based in Tehran, and the construction of many research and educational centers.
The Javadabad School is one of several buildings designed according to the Geltaftan system. The construction of the school is based on a system whereby the entire earthen structure is treated as a kiln and fired to form a monolithic mass. The Geltaftan system, literally meaning clay-firing, aims to renew traditional methods of kiln firing and at the same time encourages the use readily available, traditional earth architecture as inexpensive, comfortable and durable. The architect also intended to improve the structural weakness of indigenous architecture, to improve its resistance to climatic and seismograph conditions, and to increase the hygienic conditions of the earthern structures.
The school was originally designed to house facilities both for boys and girls as well as a common administration building. (The existing facilities house girl's secondary school only.) The structure incorporates traditional features of Iranian architecture: arcades, barrel vaults, domes, and small openings. The village mason played an important role in the development of the project. The foundation is built of lime-clay and brick supports the adobe structure. A kiln like structure is created by loosely placing bricks on a layer of clay and straw. Doors and windows are temporarily blocked. The structure and floor are baked by a torch located in hole in the centre of the room. The fire may last for up to a complete day at a temperature of 1000C.