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How a Thirties Architectural Masterpiece Harnesses the Solar to Preserve Heat within the Winter & Cool within the Summer season


Holding the summer time solar out and the winter solar in has figured prominently among the many duties of structure ever since antiquity. As Aeschylus stated, “solely primitives and barbarians lack information of homes turned to face the winter solar,” and he’d by no means even lived by a Chicago winter. Two and a half millennia later, within the suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, the architect Paul Schweikher constructed a home not simply turned to face the winter solar, however ingeniously and elegantly designed naturally to remain heat within the chilly months and funky within the scorching months. Architectural design educator Stewart Hicks explains how in the video above, an introduction to what’s now often called the Paul Schweikher Home and Studio.

What’s going to strike most guests to the Schweikher Home, which now operates as a museum, has much less to do with its comfy temperatures than with its feel and look. “The home doesn’t give all its secrets and techniques away directly,” says the location of design and furnishing firm Trystcraft.

“As a substitute, the customer is teased with hints that lead you underneath and previous a carport, alongside an extended board and batten wall across the perimeter of a lush courtyard with an impressive tree — offering an exquisite distinction to the linearity of the buildings surrounding it.” This “entry sequence” additionally introduces the home’s most important supplies: brick, most visibly, but additionally redwood now weathered to “a vary of gorgeous darkish browns and grays.”

Schweikher used these supplies and others to assemble what Hicks calls a “direct acquire passive photo voltaic system,” whose openings and overhangs are “positioned in order that it allows winter solar, whereas blocking the summer time solar,” which beats down at a barely completely different angle. “Elevated, operable openings on the opposite facet of the constructing permit heat air to rise, and attract air from outdoors,” along with different options that keep a temperate inside local weather with out the usage of any electrical and even mechanical equipment. Having designed this residence for himself and his spouse in 1937 put him on the vanguard of what would later be acknowledged because the American interpretation of mid-century modernism, in addition to what’s now known as “photo voltaic house” constructing know-how. Arguably, Schweikher’s strategies are much more precious right this moment: the local weather could change, in spite of everything, however the solar’s seasonal angles keep the identical.

Associated content material:

1,300 Images of Well-known Fashionable American Properties Now On-line, Courtesy of USC

What Frank Lloyd Wright’s Uncommon Home windows Inform Us About His Architectural Genius

George Bernard Shaw’s Well-known Writing Hut, Which May Be Rotated 360 Levels to Catch the Solar All Day

What Is the Home of the Rising Solar?: An Introduction to the Origins of the Traditional Tune

Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the guide The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.



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