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Deal of light and shades

Sometimes understated, sometimes not windows lend mood and character to a place. Especially, the ones that belong to old architecture aesthetically appealing and functional – they did more than just let light in.

Along with the high-rises that give a modernistic edge to the UAE, there exists architecture reminiscent of era rich in tradition and old world wisdom. Many old houses built according to the principles of traditional architecture continue to add an antiquated character to the place. Walk into a cluster of traditional home and the magical chiaroscuro through traditional windows provides fascinating insights in to the architectural detailing of olden times. 

According to the Ahamed Mohomed Ahamed, head of the historical buildings department and Dubai municipality, windows play a very pivotal role in ventilation and lighting of homes. They were not just important for decoration to enhance the beauty of the house, but were also rigid sentinels guarding the all important air flow and natural light and heat distribution at home. In extreme weather this was significant, as it was most central to the natural cooling of homes in the absence of modern air-conditioning system.

Apart from the window towers or barjeel (a long tunnel trapping cool air for ventilation into homes) traditional masons and architectures paid great attention to window detailing. Certain principles were always kept in mind while building a house in the olden days.

Walls of houses were thick and well insulated to minimize heat gain by conducting and windows on the walls were constructed very carefully.

In order to avoid direct heat, very few windows were built into the exterior walls of the house (facing the street). If there were windows on the side, they were made really small, almost like decorative slits. Most houses had courtyard normally had trees and this ensured that softer sunlight entered the rooms. So there was a cooler circulation of air accompanied y by sufficient natural lights.

light and shades
Even large windows had wooden teak bars crises-crossing to ensure less heat and light and more air circulations into the rooms. Teak wood was used in panels to construct windows, the former having iron or brass studs.

The windows were divided in two sections so that only the top half could be opened if desired. This helped in blocking out excess heat and allowing more air. The window had simple vertical iron grills for security.

So this is end of the deal of the light and shades post. Will be come back to you soon from a new news post.

light and shades

light and shades

light and shades

light and shades


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