Located on axis to the west of the Maydan within what was once the palace gardens, the Chihil Sutun is one of the two remaining pavilions built as part of the palace complex. The second is the Hasht Behesht.
After a fire the pavilion was largely rebuilt in 1706, at which time the talar with 20 wooden columns was added.
The reception hall is reached through a mirrored niche in the iwan at the rear of the talar. This hall is a domed rectangular room lined with four large historical murals. Smaller rooms accessed at the corners have wall paintings of either pleasure or literary scenes, executed in a style earlier to that of the reception hall paintings.
The sides of the building have semi-enclosed porches, also with paintings. Of interest is the use of varying degrees of interiority, with enclosure decreasing toward the garden.
Along with the Ali Qapu and Hasht Behesht, the Chihil Sutun was restored by IsMEO - Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente for NOCHMI - National Organization for Conservation of Historic Monuments of Iran. The project, completed in 1977, received an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.
Blair, Sheila S. and Jonathan M. Bloom. 1994. The Art and Architecture of Islam. New Haven: Yale University Press, 192-193.
Hillenbrand, Robert. 1994. Islamic Architecture: Form, Function and Meaning. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 428-433.
Michell, George. 1978. Architecture of the Islamic World. London: Thames and Hudson, 73, 254.