Articles tagged "tropical architecture"

Blessed are the souls who build in the tropics! For they do not know the contradictions we face up North.

Features that will help against the summer heat will hinder the fight against the cold. Obviously. The only help we have is the Sun, gracefully changing angles as the seasons move. In following that change, we can use it and have unmovable features of the house change their use as the Sun moves. A classic: eaves just big enough to let the sun in when it's low in the sky and keep the sun out when it's high.

But there are other things that can't change behavior as easily. Big windows and openings will loose heat in the winter no matter what. West facing windows that are great for wintery afternoons will for sure transform your living room into an oven in August at the same time of day.

A way I can think of to combat this is flexibility. Having elements that you can adapt to the situation. Even better, elements that adapt themselves, depending on smart sensor readings. Shutters that close themselves when it's getting under a certain temperature. Vertical louvers that move with the sun. Like thermostats but better.

We now have the technology to do all of this in the blink of an eye. We can even control air humidity and purity, lights, hot water, and give you all the stats on your phone. I love all of this, even though I see the loss of poetry that we risk in going too far.

I read a while ago a beautiful book called Ritual House and the little magic of houses swaying with the …

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