Tag Archives: Kashan

Windcatchers: Ancient and environment friendly Iranian cooling system (Photos)

A  windcatcher or bâdgir (in Persian: bâd “wind” and gir “catcher”) is a traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings. They have remained present in many countries and can be found in traditional Persian-influenced architecture throughout the Middle East, including in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (mostly Bahrain and Dubai), Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Most windcatchers belong to old residential houses, mosques and urban reservoirs, e.g. in Persian architecture they were used as a refrigerating device at traditional water reservoirs (ab anbars) to store water near freezing temperatures in summer. Regardless of its utility, the height and adornments of these windcatchers used to represent the owner’s distinction and social standing.

Recently the windcatcher approach has been adopted in Western architecture, such as in the visitor center at Zion National Park, Utah and at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados.

Below windcatchers in the cities of Yazd and Kashan (Yazd and Isfahan Provinces) by Hamid Najafi for Tasnim News and by Hoda Asghari for Mehr News.

Windcatchers come in various designs: uni-directional, bi-directional, and multi-directional and work pretty much like modern air conditioning system. At the top of the windcatcher are several directional ports – usually four open towards four direction. When the port facing the prevailing wind is opened, air is pushed down the shaft and into the building. At the base of the tower is a pool of water provided by aqueducts called karez (or qanat), over which the air is allowed to pass. As the warm air passes over the surface of the water, the air cools through evaporative cooling. At night, cold air is sucked into the house thereby cooling it naturally.

Windcatchers can also act in reverse. By closing all ports but the one facing away from the incoming wind, air is drawn upwards using a combination of Bernoulli’s Principle and Coanda effect. The negative pressure pulls hot air down into the karez tunnel and is cooled by coming into contact with the cool earth and cold water running through it. At this point, the cooled air is introduced into the building. By facing windcatchers away from the wind, dust and sand blowing in from the desert can also be kept away from buildings.

The evaporative cooling effect is strongest in the driest climates, such as on the Iranian plateau, leading to the ubiquitous use of windcatchers in drier areas such as Yazd, Kerman, Kashan, Sirjan, Nain, and Bam.

Shish-khans (small windcatchers) can still be seen on top of water reservoirs in Qazvin and other northern cities in Iran. These seem to function more as ventilators than as the temperature regulators seen in the central deserts of Iran.

Sources: Tasnim News (Yazd), Mehr News (Kashan), Wikipedia, Historical Iran, Amusing Planet

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Iran’s Isfahan Province: Kashan – Fin Garden Series (2nd photo gallery)

Fin Garden, located in Kashan, Iran, is a historical Persian garden completed in 1590. It is the oldest existing garden in Iran. Unesco declared the garden a World Heritage Site in 2012.

Related post about Bagh-e Fin (Fin Garden) with more information and photos:
The other Iran | Kashan – Fin Garden Series

Sources: Wikipedia | Fin Garden, Mehr News Agency | Photos

Iran’s Isfahan Province: Kashan – Fin Garden Series (Photo gallery)

The tradition and style in the design of Persian Gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. Unesco declared the Fin Garden in Kashan a World Heritage Site on July 18, 2012.

Related post about Bagh-e Fin (Fin Garden) with background information and more photos:
Kashan – Fin Garden Series

Source: Wikipedia | Persian Gardens

Iran’s Isfahan Province: Kashan – Boroujerdi House Series

Boroujerdi's House in Kashan, Iran

Boroujerdi’s House in Kashan, Iran

The Boroujerdi House (in Persian: Khaneh-ye Boroujerdi-ha) is a historic house in Kashan, Esfahan Province, Iran that is nowadays open to the public as a museum.

It was built in 1857 for the bride of Haji Mehdi Boroujerdi, a welthy merchant, by architect Ustad Ali Maryam. The bride came from the affluent Tabatabaei family, for whom Ali Maryam had built the Tabatabaei House some years earlier and the condition set for the marriage was the construction of a house as beautiful as the Tabatabaei House.

Considered a true masterpiece of Persian traditional residential architecture, it took eighteen years to build using 25 workers, painters and architects.

Kashan

Wind towers of the Boroujerdi’s House in Kashan, Iran

The House, famous for its atypical shaped wind towers made of stone, brick, sun baked bricks and a composition of clay, straw and mortar, has three entrances and consists of a rectangular beautiful courtyard, delightful plaster and stucco works of fruits and flowers and wall paintings by the royal painter Kamal-ol-Molk and three 40 meter tall wind towers which help to cool the house to unusually cool temperatures.

The entrance to the building is in the form of an octagonal vestibule with multilateral skylights in the ceiling. Near the entrance is a five-door chamber with intricate plasterwork. Following a narrow corridor, a vast rectangular courtyard opens up. The courtyard has a pool and is flanked by trees and flowerbeds. Also in the vicinity of the corridor is a reception area sandwiched in between two rooms. Due to the high amount of sunlight these two rooms receive, they were mostly utilized during the winter months.

In the east and northeast area of the property lie the kitchen, rooms and stairways to the basement. The wind towers allowed for the basements to consistently benefit from a flow of cool air. On the southern side is a large covered hall adorned with many reliefs, artistic carvings and meshed windows which was the main area for various celebrations. It consists of a raised platform on its far side and would normally be reserved for the more important guests.

Source: Historical Iranian sites and people | Boroujerdi House

Iran’s Isfahan Province: Kashan – Fin Garden Series

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province, Iran

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province

The tradition and style in the design of Persian Gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond.

Fin Garden, or Bagh-e Fin, located in Kashan, Iran, is a historical Persian garden. It contains Kashan’s Fin Bath, where the reformist Qajarid chancellor, Amir Kabir, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. Unesco declared the garden a World Heritage Site.

The origins of the garden may be anterior to the Safavid period but the settlements of the garden in its present form were built under the reign of Abbas I of Persia (1571-1629), as a traditional bagh near the village of Fin, located a few miles southwest of Kashan.

The garden covers 2.3 hectares with a main yard surrounded by ramparts with four circular towers. In keeping with many of the Persian gardens of this era, the Fin Garden employs many water features.

These were fed from a spring on a hillside behind the garden, and the water pressure was such that a large number of circulating pools and fountains could be constructed without the need for mechanical pumps.

The garden contains numerous cypress trees and combines architectural features of the Safavid, Zandiyeh and Qajar periods.

Source: Wikipedia | Fin Garden, Wikipedia | Persian Gardens

Fin Garden (or Bagh-e Fin) in Kashan, Esfahan Province, Iran

Fin Garden (or Bagh-e Fin) in Kashan, Esfahan Province

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province