Mechanical Transfer

This we only had one lecture due to Hurricane Sandy, and in it we talked about the transfer of heat in a house. I learnt a lot about how ACs work and how to add a reversing value to a unit so that it can be used as both an airconditioner and a heater. This was all stuff that I have never thought about the system behind- but reminds me that there are inner systems in everything.

In relation to this class, I think it is interesting to compare all of these mechanical ways of controlling temperature with a very natural one, and my example is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey House.

I just visited this house for studio, and while I was walking through it, our guide was telling us all about the natural forms of heating and cooling that Frank Lloyd Wright implemented to make the house maintain a good temperature but without too much artificial light or heat. I found this absolutely fascinating as we were just studying the artificial ways, but the natural ways can also be very effective if implemented correctly.

The way in which Frank LLoyd Wright was able to make this possible was due to the size of the house and due to the amount of apertures that he had created. Throughout the entire house has a line of clerestory windows along the top part of the wall. These make it easy to create cross ventilation in all parts of the house as it is a continuous range of openings all around the house. In addition to this, there are also many large glass doors that can fully open up letting in large amounts of fresh air. These are helpful as they allow a lot of natural air in, which can be good for cooling the house down. It also helps to provide more cross-ventilation as they are large openings that can allow a large transfer of air at a higher rate than the small windows.


This is an image to show how the clerestory windows work in relation to the large doors that can fully open up. As you can see in the image, there is one vertical wall that is composed fully of these windows, and then they continue to run along the top part of the other walls.


This is a plan that I annotated to show the cross-ventilation that I could see taking place in the house when I went to see it. The only room in the house that does not have two windows on opposing sides of the room is the kitchen, but even this has a large window within it, and a way to make it a private space, which was needed in the 1940s when the house was built.
This creates a great atmosphere in the house as one is so exposed to the external world around the, but they are still in a small, enclosed and cosy space that is kept at a comfortable temperature.

Overall, I found the Pope Leighey house a very interesting case study to look at because of all of the ways it has avoiding paying money for heating and cooling as this is something we are studying in systems.

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One thought on “Mechanical Transfer

  1. As I also had visited the Pope Leighey house, I find your analysis to be very accurate and interesting. His methods of ventilation are quite apparent throughout the house

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