Architectural design educator Stewart Hicks explains how the Paul Schweikher House and Studio was designed for passive solar heating and cooling.
Schweikher used natural materials to construct what Hicks calls a “direct gain passive solar system,” whose openings and overhangs are “positioned so that it lets in winter sun, while blocking the summer sun,” which beats down at a slightly different angle. “
Elevated, operable openings on the other side of the building allow warm air to rise, and draw in air from outside,” in addition to other features that maintain a temperate interior climate without the use of any electrical or even mechanical apparatus.
Having designed this residence for himself and his wife in 1937 put him on the vanguard of what would later be recognized as the American interpretation of mid-century modernism, as well as what’s now called “solar home” building technology.
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