PAST HISTORY
 

Since it is an enormous task to present the history of a family with a 1000 years history,
we shall therefore feature a brief historical outlook instead.
It should be also noted that the Family name has been translated to western characters with
varying orthographies such as; Ghiaee-e-Shamlu, Ghiai-e-Shamlou, Ghiaei-Shamlou, Ghiaie-Shamlu, etc...
The Ghiaï de Chamlou family has a recorded history of some 700 years although extrapolation
can be made of over 1000 years of tradition.
The names Ghiabey and ChamlouBey derive from one of 7 royal tribes of the Persian Empire
during the Turko-Mongolian invasion of Gengis Khan.
It has been said that the Khans and Khanums ( Trans. Lords & Ladies ) of Ghiaï-Chamlou
possessed enormous power and large fiefdoms in the Lorestan region of Iran and that they
often created rivalry with various ruling kings who decided to geographically disburse
and divide the Family in order to reduce their concentrated power.
That action had the contrary effect of expanding the Family's geographical presence
and power.
During the first part of the 20th century and at the ascension of the Pahlavi dynasty,
the Khans of the house of Ghiaï de Chamlou decided to support Reza Shah's modernization
program and eliminated their Princely titles of Beys or Lords by modernizing their name
to the Ghiaï de Chamlou Family.
Various geopolitical events prompted the Exile of Reza Shah and the ascension of his son
Mohammed Reza Shah to the throne.
It was also during that politically charged time that Mohammad Reza Shah had to
temporarily leave his country during an attempted coup d'etat which failed thanks in part
to the help of the Governor of Teheran, Manouchehr Ghiaï , member of the Ghiaï-Chamlou family .
 

Heydar Gholi Khan Ghiaï-e-Chamlou was born during those turbulent time on October 23, 1922
today known as Heydar Ghiai, he obtained his baccalaureate at the German Gymnasium in
Teheran after which he obtained his Doctorate of Architecture at the University of Teheran
and a second Doctorate at the prestigious " Ecole des Beaux Arts" in Paris where he
received the title of D.P.L.G. and was awarded the famous " Prix de Vienne " never awarded
before to a non French citizen.
Upon his return to Iran in 1952, Heydar Ghiai married Mariette Ghiai, an interior Designer
whom he met in Belgium and who graduated from the Belgian " Academie Royale des Beaux Arts".
with high distinction and with the prestigious " Prix d'Honneur".
Mariette Ghiai has also been a professor at the " Farah Pahlavi" University in Teheran.
Mariette Ghiai is herself a descendent of a prestigious Russian family and whose members included
high officers of Tzar Nikolai II, famous musicians, philosophers and political figures such as Trotski.
 

The 50's and early 60's were years of unprecedented fame and success for the young couple.
heydar Ghiai came to be known as the Father of Modern Architecture in Iran, a teacher
at the University of Teheran, he headed the famed " Atelier Ghiai" which formed several
generations of Architects.
Until the late 50's, Heydar Ghiai who became the most famous Architect in Iran, was for the
most part designing for the private sector, such things as private villas, casinos, movie
theater, office buildings, hotels etc...
 

The real adventure would start when, due to his extraordinary reputation, Heydar Ghiai
became noticed by the King who so admired his Architecture, that he ask the Architect
to design the Iranian Senate Building ( today being used as the Congress or Madjles ).
An adventure that would forever launch the Family onto high spheres of government
projects intertwined with the realm of high level politics as well as geopolitics.

The Senate house was inaugurated in 1956 and became a huge success and a symbol of
the Country's renewal, however, geopolitics intervened and another coup d'etat planned
by the US Kennedy administration of the time, prompted the Shah to leave the country once more
and all his friends and inner circle to be jailed.
Heydar Ghiai fell victim to that situation and was also unjustly detained.
Upon the change of US policies towards Iran following Kennedy's assassination, the Shah immediately returned and all
his inner circle liberated.
Having felt betrayed by his country and unduly victimized, Heydar Ghiai decided to leave
Iran. On hearing that news, the Shah immediately summoned his Architect and convinced him to stay and help rebuild his country.
 

Touched by the affections of his King, Heydar Ghiai decided to stay.
From 1965 to 1975, Heydar Ghiai spent the entire decade designing a series of Imperial
Palaces which were to equal the palaces of Persepolis in scope and stature.
He also became the official Architect to the Imperial Court and acquired the title
of " Aide de Camp" to his Imperial Majesty.

The late seventies marked another turning point in Iranian politics and the Shah,
wishing for more social reforms commissioned his Architect to implement the first
nationwide hospital program.
Heydar Ghiai embarked on a most ambitious program to establish hospital programming
for the whole country and to design 3 major university and 2 major military hospitals.
By that time Heydar Ghiai had the largest Architectural firm in Central Asia with some
one billion dollars worth of construction at hand.
 

As three of the six hospitals started construction, once more the geopolitical scene
changed and in 1978, while western superpowers decided to force the Shah's departure
and install a theocratic regime in Iran, Heydar Ghiai was forced into exile in Paris.
Heydar Ghiai passed away in September of 1985 in the Family vacation house
at Cap d'Antibes, France.
 

The year 1979 marked a turning point for the Family.
A Family deeply rooted in one of the most ancient civilizations, in the highest spheres
of power, fame and fortune, had to suddenly reinvent itself in the western world.
This task however did not prove to be as daunting as might be expected.
Heydar Ghiai had strong and long standing ties to Europe and was an exceptionally
modern man who's philosophy of life allowed for a great deal of adaptability.
Heydar Ghiai was not only a Master Architect but a Master Calligrapher, Painter and
Musician who believed in Nietzsche's philosophy of Man as Artist.
He detested the bourgeois mentality of conformism and being set in once ways and therefore
thought that human beings should constantly reinvent themselves.
He saw the revolution of 1979 as a sad chapter of an unfinished book, and as an opportunity
to create a new center of power for his family in the western world.

 

 

 

RECENT HISTORY
 

On August 3rd, 1978, during the annual Family party held at the family villa in Cap d'Antibes
it has been decided that Heydar Ghiai's 3 sons; Yves Farhad ( born Oct. 26, 1957 ) ,
Claude Parviz ( born Oct. 11, 1963 ) and Alain Mehdi ( born Aug. 3 , 1967 ) would leave France
to pursue their studies in the United States of America .
The three sons studied Architecture in New York and graduated from Pratt Institute.

In 1982, Yves Farhad Ghiai, under the direction of the Family Patriarch started to expand
the Family consortium by creating a series of corporations that would encompass the entire
range of the building industry including Architecture, General Contracting, Real Estate
Development, Financing and Investment.

The sudden passing away of the Family Patriarch in 1985 prompted Yves Ghiai to write and publish numerous
articles and books about the work of his father.
From 1985 to present days, the Ghiaï-Chamlous continued the spirit and built upon
the foundations laid by Heydar Ghiai.
 

Yves Ghiai Designed Developed and Built numerous prestigious and Internationally
renowned Architectural pieces.
His work was published in over 30 magazines and news papers and he received many
praises ranging from the highest authorities of the Swiss Government to a special
proclamation from the City of San Francisco dedicating October 26 as
the Heydar Ghiai & Sons day in San Francisco.
Yves Ghiai is a member of the French " Academie d'Architecture", the American
Institute of Architects and the French " Ordre des Architectes" and the Architectural
Institute of British Columbia.
He is also a Professor of Architecture and a visiting Professor at
various prestigious schools of Architecture around the world
 

Claude Ghiai dedicated most his efforts to the business and finance activities
of the Family while also Designing and Developing numerous real estate projects.

Alain Ghiai expanded the Construction side of the business and founded an innovative
21st Century Online Cloud company called GlobeX Data
Alain Ghiai's company has become a household name and is fast becoming an International Icon

On March 25th 2012, Mariette Ghiai passed away. A full retrospective of her work will soon be published.