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About Kerman:   

Local Architectural 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 ancient city.

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.


Traditional Techniques of Architecture

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 shadowy areas.

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.

 Source: ITTO, Kerman Main Office


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