How geography shapes architecture

How geography shapes architecture

In New England, homes usually have basements and attics, which among other things, provide important insulation in cold weather. As you walk in the front door of a house, there will a coat closet nearby, as well as a place to stamp the snow off your shoes. Malls have revolving door entrances, this helps keep warm air inside. Porches are generally screened to protect against the omnipresent summer mosquitos. Central heating is not a luxury.

Here in southern California, where the weather seldom if ever gets seriously cold, malls may not have doors at all, and often have openings in the ceilings, something which never happens in New England. Back in Connecticut, my sister and husband are adding windows to their house to provide more light. More light is generally not needed here in LA, in fact protecting against too much light, and the resultant heat, can be the priority! Homes and apartments here often do not have central heating and instead have gas-powered wall heaters, which work ok most times and might leave you a bit cold somedays. But “cold” here is defined as 55 outside, whereas in Connecticut, temperatures sometimes are sub zero, and lack of good heating could become live-threatening.

The Mexican style of architecture, thick walls and big overhanging eaves, protects well against strong relentless sun. In fact, homes like that often have interior rooms which remain quite cool regardless of the temperature outside.

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