Style of Kerman:
Paying attention to
designing buildings in accordance with climatic conditions
on the one hand leads to better air conditioning and man’s
comfort and on the other it has an enormous impact on energy
consumption. In older times, the clever inhabitants of
Kerman, despite the lack of facilities and modern
techniques, paid due attention to this issue. Many things,
created by architects of this city, are considered as clever
solutions, worth to be studied. Basically, Kerman City has
emerged in the middle of hard natural-geographical
conditions. Throughout summers and winters and in the lapse
of centuries it has tried to survive. Among Iranian cities,
laid in salt desert (kavir) or beside it, Kerman has
probably had the strongest links with nature, and in
particular with hard climatic conditions.
This city has confronted
problems such as hot weather in summer, cold weather in
winter, fluctuations of temperature, over-aridity, and cold
winds, and dust. In other words, this area has had a harsh
climate, which has never been favorable to the inhabitants.
In these conditions, residential complexes, as the man’s
shelters against atmospheric conditions, play an important
role. Concerning the fact that the designing of traditional
buildings have been influenced by the climatic conditions, many
studies have been performed at a national level. Given the
fact that an extensive part of our country is dominated by
hot and arid weather, the intact patterns of traditional
architecture are found in this area abundantly.
Evidences suggest that
climate has exercised an enormous influence on the make-up
of Kerman and in particular on its traditional residential
complexes. Because of the absence of modern technologies in
the past, the architects were always seeking ways to adapt
their products with climatic conditions. Unfortunately upon
the entering of western architectural style, low cost of
fossil fuels, progress of housing technology, and cultural
alienation led to development of a new texture, which is
vulnerable against climatic conditions; but the traditional
architecture of Kerman should be taken into account, along
with applying the rules of modern architecture in this
According to elder ones
of the area, since olden times, the city has time and again
suffered from droughts and sometimes from hard winters and
strong snowfalls. Given the climatic studies, in summer time
the weather temperature exceeds sometimes 40°C while in
winter it may even drop below -20°C. The hot weather in
summer is intensified with strong and hot winds, along with
dust. Narrow, long and covered passages protect the
inhabitants of city against sunshine and dust winds.
Lean-toes (sabat) over the narrow and long alleys of the
city, provide a shadowy area over the alleys. Kerman is an
ancient city, which has fought for more than 1000 years
against these conditions and survived.
Like other inhabitants of
salt desert (kavir), the rpeople of Kerman, have created a
paradise-like atmosphere in the middle of burning desert.
The first principle, of which this people were aware, was the reflection of
sun’s heat from the arid and burning earth of desert. Hence
they surrounded their city with a green and fresh belt,
consisted of agricultural lands and gardens.
The second principle, to
which the people of Kerman have paid attention, in
constructing their city, is the correct orientation of
[residential] complexes. Hard, arid and hot winds, from the
south and cold winds from the
west, caused them to build their city in the direction of
favorable winds of north and northwest.
The Third principle has
been hindering hot weather of summer and cold weather of
winter from entering the residential texture. Over years,
Kermanis found that if buildings are set up in clusters,
they could resist harsh climatic conditions.
The fourth principle has
been protecting passengers within the city limits. Bending
passages, which are partially covered, have hindered
unpleasant winds from entering on the one hand, and on the
other, because of their depths, have provided more extensive
The fifth principle, of
which people of Kerman have been aware, has been providing
fresh air for every residential unit, by making deep yards,
through which compact houses breathe. Surrounded by covered
parts from every side, like a valley, yards keep the fresh
air of night in themselves to be used on the hot day. The
depths of these yards gives them cool shadows.
The sixth principle, to
which the desert-dwelling people of Kerman have paid
attention, has been how to cool the arid weather via the
evaporation of water. To do so, they made flower-beds,
pools, and fountains in houses.
The seventh principle is
drawing the favorable air of yards and outside into rooms.
Northern and northwestern winds of Kerman are among
favorable winds, coolinghelping the the city in summers.
Making beautiful ventilating shafts, the local architects of
Kerman have drawn these favorable winds into rooms making
those parts of houses which are used in summer favorable. Since these winds were,
in many cases, accompanied by warmth, they built pools in
those parts over which the winds were transferred, and thus
they reduced the warmth of weather.
The eighth principle has
been making the optimum use of the warmth of sun. In other
words, they protected the inside from unfavorable warmth in
summers and made use of this warmth in winters. The rooms,
directed southeastward and southward, have the best
possible position for making use of the sun in winter. At
the same time windows can be helpful to draw the favorable
warmth of sun into rooms.
The ninth principle is
retaining rooms’ coolness in summer and their warmth in
winter. Local architects used proper materials, which may be
found in the region such as sun dried bricks to erect thick
walls. Roofs, which are curved, were made similarly.
ITTO, Kerman Main Office
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