Morvarid Palace, the Pearl Palace or known as Shams Palace is a large building built for Shams Pahlavi, the elder sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, in the late 1960s. It is located near Merhshahr, in the western suburb of Karaj.
Construction and design of Morvarid Palace
Morvarid Palace was designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, American architect William Wesley Peters as a residence for Princess Shams Pahlavi. It was built on 420 acres with an artificial lake. The building is about 16,145 square feet and is built of concrete, with two main domes connected by a staircase and a large ramp. Circular patterns are highlighted throughout the structure. A small palace lake surrounds the structure on three sides. The lake was built deep enough for boating. The palace includes various rooms such as halls, offices, a cinema, a swimming pool, a snooker club, a rare bird sanctuary and bedrooms. One of the most important parts of the palace is the Sadaf (oyster) room, which has various decorations and is shaped like a spiral.
The cost of building this palace, located in the popular Mehrshahr region which is famous for its pleasant climate, was one million dollars at the time. In 2002, the building was declared a cultural property and registered by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism of Iran, which took control of parts of the building because of its historical importance. It is currently in need of extensive renovation.