Ways that architecture was designed to fight summer heat
Fight the summer heat
We are incredibly lucky that we can escape the heat and relax in air conditioning. But what did people do to alleviate high temps before the invention of air conditioning? Was there any way to cool off?
What did they do?
The Romans invented the “frigidarium” which was a place where people would go to cool off. The frigidarium had really cold water and the people would dip in their heads or just stand in it. They also used a device called an “Aquarium”. An aquarium was like a fountain but instead of water coming out, it sprayed cold water that would help to cool down the room.
The Chinese used wind towers. The tower had a big hole at the top with a fan at the bottom that blew air up through the tower. There were holes all around each level of the tower and as air passed through these holes, it cooled down as it went into a lower level. there are many different ways that southern architects used home design to help residents feel cooler.
Outdoor spaces were usually landscaped with palms and other plants to provide shade. Some of the architects in the south had an idea called “Verticemaking” which was a lot like “vertical gardening”.
They would make pools of water on the roof by dropping marble tiles down every few feet. They would also make deep pools that people could swim in. They used mirrors and tall buildings to reflect the suns heat into the homes of their neighbors, so that they could get some cooler air too. Such architectural methods were probably used in those days to cool off the rooms in their homes during hot summer days. Because they needed something to keep them cool, these architects had to design buildings that would provide a nice environment for their occupants.
The courtyard was a space where people could relax and enjoy the weather. A central gathering place for residents was arranged in courtyards, and it allowed them to socialize, play games and celebrate special occasions. It also provided shade from the sun’s harsh rays.
Although there were many different ways to make homes feel cooler, there were still times when southern homes couldn’t escape the heat of summer or winter. Many of the houses had several sets of rooms located on different levels so that a person living in that house could have their own air conditioning systems and still be able to take advantage of outdoor areas such as courtyards.
A lot of southern homes were built with the kitchen and living rooms located on the ground floor and bedrooms upstairs. This type of design allowed for complete control over home temperature levels.
Another way that homes were designed to make them more comfortable was by having large windows in many of them. The windows allowed for sunlight to pass through, which helped to keep rooms cool by heating up the air in the rooms.
Southern architects often used a “passage” as a method to separate one room from another one in the house. Passageways are what people call a set of doors that are located between two rooms that connect them together, like an enclosed hallway between two sets of doors on different floors.
Many southern houses had an open, airy design that made them feel open and inviting.
These homes had large windows, high ceilings, and sections that were cut away from the rest of the house so that they were more open and not enclosed as if they would be living in a one-room building. In most of these types of houses, there were side windows on the sides of the house that could be opened to let in the fresh air.
Southern architects created homes in many different ways to help their occupants feel cooler. Although these days we use air conditioning in our homes, there were ways to keep our homes cool before it was invented.
Tall windows were used in Southern homes to keep the rooms cool. The reason buildings are designed the way they are is because of their function. Most buildings were made so that people would not have to climb around on each other or lean over from one side of a building to the other in order for them to get something out of it. Tall windows were used so that people could easily move about inside a building and get what they needed without having to make any extra effort.
Although right now many tall windows have been removed because most people can stand on their own two feet and reach things on shelves located high up, tall windows have been helpful as far back as history goes.
Tall ceilings were also useful in southern homes. If you had a tall ceiling in your home, you could easily reach things on shelves located high up, and you could also climb on shelves without having to go through any other rooms. The reason that tall ceilings were so popular was that they were open to the outside and let in extra light which helped to keep sunlight out of the room and add a nice atmosphere so that people would feel comfortable.
Exterior features such as the use of large windows, high ceilings and courtyards helped southern homes feel cooler by making it easier for people to remove themselves from the heat of summer or winter.
Furnishings used in the home were often designed to cool the rooms down. The furnishings were made with light colors such as white and light beige. They also used a device called an “Aquarium”. An aquarium was like a fountain but instead of water coming out, it sprayed cold water that would help to cool down the room.
The Chinese used wind towers. The tower had a big hole at the top with a fan at the bottom that blew air up through the tower. There were holes all around each level of the tower and as air passed through these holes, it cooled down as it went into a lower level.
Outdoor spaces were usually landscaped with palms and other plants to provide shade.
The Modern Era
The invention of air conditioning has brought about changes in the design of both southern and northern homes.
North and South operate in different time zones, so people can’t set their clocks by a 12-hour clock. Also, this different time zone causes many people to work longer hours. People living in hot areas such as Florida do not have air conditioning in their homes, but they have open swimming pools that they can use to cool off during the summer months.
People who are much further south such as Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi do not have open swimming pools because of the lack of water during hot times, so residents use air conditioning which is powered by electricity, instead of water.
Southern homes have several features that make them unique. Southern homes welcome the outside in by creating outside rooms within the house, as well as, courtyards and other spaces to socialize. Air conditioning was invented to help southern homes keep their inhabitants cool during the hot summer months. Plumbing is a system of pipes and fixtures that transport water for tasks such as drinking, washing, and sanitation. Water has been used since the beginning of time, from both wells and rivers, but the invention of plumbing made it possible to bring water into and throughout a building in many different ways. Plumbing is necessary for both northern and southern architecture because all people need water to live.