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The middle eastern countries are characterised by a hot and dry climate, and so buildings and homes are traditionally constructed from thick ceramics with high insulation values to beat the heat. Houses are packed close together with high walls and ceilings, maximizing shade at ground level. The heat of direct sunlight is also minimized with small windows that face away from the sun. Another element that Persian architects incorporate in their structures are windcatchers.

A windcatcher is a high tower built on the roof whose purpose is to cool the interior of the building by improving air circulation. Windcatchers are thought to have originated from Persia and from there the ingenious design spread throughout the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have been in use for many millennia - examples of windcatchers have been found in traditional Egyptian architecture as ancient as the days of the pharaohs, 1300 years before Christ.

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Wind catchers at Madinat Jumeirah. Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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