Fekri House/

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Project Details



Bandar Lengeh, Hormozgan / Iran, Islamic Republic of



Year (Design/Construction):

- / 1900

Area (Net/Gross):

3400 m2 / -
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • Closed space of the building is situated between two yards and surrounded by corridors. The organization of open, semi-open, and closed spaces provides a natural ventilation that is vital in the hot and humid climate of this region.
  • Local penetrable coral stone walls and Sarooj mortar (Persian Lime plaster) are used to build this building. Using local material decreases the embodied energy and carbon footprint in construction.
  • The white color of the material can reflect the direct sun during the day and increase heat loss at night. This nocturnal radiation cooling system reduces indoor air temperature, while decreasing the Urban Heat Island Effect.
  • The spongy texture of Sarooj and coral stones make a breathing skin for the building and this can absorb and moderate the extra relative humidity.
  • Five principal windcatchers, two hidden windcatchers along with several air channels, make an effective convection cooling system for the whole building.
  • The ground floor and underground air channels decrease the temperature and humidity.
  • Trees of the courtyard, also semi-open spaces, made a shading system to reduce the extra heat.
  • Gutters direct rainwater into the central garden and the underground water channels lead the excess water to the large garden which is now destroyed.
  • The high parapets of the building and the semi open spaces make a nice shading on the roof to make it cool.

Fekri house was built around 100 years ago, during the Qajar dynasty; (1789 to 1925) in Bandar Lengeh. It is a harbour city located in Hormozgan province of Iran. This city was one of the most important commercial ports of the Persian Gulf during the Achaemenid period. The climate of the area is hot and humid. The amount of relative humidity is very high due to its proximity to the sea but the amount of precipitation is very low in this city. It is categorized in hot desert climate BWh in Köppen climate classification, with hot summers and mild winters. The old context of this city is destroyed a lot because of recent modern constructions. The traditional houses of this city were mostly built in one story and oriented towards the sea. They invite the cool breezes to indoor spaces by their four sided windcatchers.

This house was built by Abdolvahed Fekri who was one of the merchants of Bandar Lengeh. It was a place to his owner’s business meetings and a center for trade and commerce, while a place to live in it with his family. Hence to provide a home-office, this mansion is designed in a public (Birouni) and a private (Andarouni) part.

The main building material is coral stone walls and Sarooj mortar. They are natural available materials that make a cool penetrable skin for the whole building. The light color of the material helps decrease the outdoor and indoor air temperature, and their porous texture can moderate the extra humidity for indoor spaces. The Chandal and Teak woods were imported from India and Zanzibar in Africa to build the roofs and the windows of the house. The timbers are covered by the mats that are weaved by fronds, then coated by the layers of straw and clay, and Sarooj is the outdoor finishing plaster for the roofs.

The whole volume of the house is built 5 meters above the ground level, giving a possibility to have underground rooms while providing a nice view towards the sea from the main porch or Eivan. It has an entrance yard and a courtyard, each containing local plants and trees that shade and cool the core of the building. An underground channel is built around the private part and helps dehumidification, also cooling the spaces.

The semi-open spaces around the courtyard like the wide Eivan, and the corridors improve air ventilation and decrease humidity a lot. Five wide four-sided windcatchers in corners of the building make a suitable air circulation in the whole building and make a convection cooling system in this house. Some hidden air vents also are installed at the ends of the corridors to intensify the airflows.

Some semi-open spaces are designed to provide a shelter for sleeping at nights during spring in the roof of the building. These shadings, the light color finishing plaster, along with the high parapets supply an effective cool roof for the building.

As mentioned, the amount of precipitation during the year is not noticeable, and some strategies are planned for water management. There are the gutters that direct the rainwater into the central garden of the yard and the underground water channels transfer the excess water to a larger garden which is now destroyed.

Fekri house is built in a complicated climatic condition which is hot air temperature, low amount of precipitation and high amount of relative humidity. Combining five passive cooling design strategies: shading, convection, radiative cooling, geocooling and greening, responds to this climatic context properly and provides thermal comfort and also a pleasant and beautiful living and working spaces for its users.


For more information about passive cooling you can see:



Memarian, Gholamhosein. (2006). Introduction to Iranian Residential Architecture Introverted Typology. Soroushdanesh publiacation. Tehran.

Photography and sketches: Sobhan Zare Mohazabiyeh, Aida Zare Mohazabiyeh

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