Today we live in houses with an almost identical style of architecture, no matter in which part of the country and in what environment and climate they are located.
This was not the case in the past in Kashan where the architecture was adapted to the geographical situation of the city at the edge of the Great Desert, where it had to endure extreme climatic fluctuations during different seasons. Faced with the ravages of an unrelenting nature, resourceful architects came up with ingenious techniques to minimize its effects. In fact, they made use of natural elements, such as wind, earth and water, to combat nature itself. Their wind towers and underground channels can be considered as excellent examples of an environmentally friendly air-conditioning system.
But it was not just these practicalities that preoccupied them. As cultured people of taste and patrons of local craftsmanship, they were very much interested in embellishing their houses with the best of local craftwork and artistic expression.
The hot, dry conditions of Kashan did not allow people to create lush gardens that some other areas of the country enjoyed. So they brought the gardens into their rooms by decorating their walls with elaborate, colourful flower patterns and mouldings. The colour theme is repeated in the vibrant colours of the glass in the windows too, where the bright sunlight shining through transforms the room into a riot of colour, almost like a fireworks display.
Today around 700 of these houses, some nearly 200 years old, have survived. Several have been lovingly and meticulously restored. This multimedia report opens a window onto the hidden world of this intricate architecture and the beauty of these houses.
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