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Desert Symphony

Wind towers (Badgirs), are one of the most beautiful elements of traditional Iranian architecture. They dominate the skyline like towering sentinels haunting the desert sky. If you ever have the chance to catch a glimpse of them from a rooftop in Yazd, you might agree that they resemble earthen pipe organs that catch the wind to create a distinctive symphony.

In Iran’s arid desert regions, these soaring chimneys stand testament to the creative spirit of desert communities in their quest to live in harmony with the natural environment.

Wind towers are ventilation shafts, oriented towards the incoming wind to conduct the air down their shafts to ventilate interiors. In the hot Iranian desert where the sun is gruelling and finding respite in the shade is a difficult task indeed, traditional Iranian architects imagined ways of harnessing the wind to ventilate interiors and create comfortable living spaces.

This is why Architect Mohammad Karim Pirnia, who is a native of Yazd, calls these amazing structures the lungs of a desert city. They are proof that traditional wisdom can provide us with solutions to modern challenges. In this multimedia report we visit the wind towers of Yazd and hear from Rahimeh Rahimi whose ancestors built the tallest Badgir in the desert nearly three centuries ago.

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