Don Williams said...
Ferfal, I had a question. Are you seeing any changes to architecture in Argentina due to the 2001 crisis and resulting social changes?
In the Roman Republic, for example, the wealthy had homes in which the exterior walls had no windows --entrance was via a single guarded doorway and family life focused on an inner courtyard.
Pretty secure building plan. Including spare water supply in the atrium's fountain and room to grow fruit in inner courtyard. Plus stalls on outside of building could be rented out to merchants to raise cash.
In Scotland, I saw what are called Z towers -- square towers with extensions on two diagonally opposite corners. The extensions being to prevent blind spots at the corners where attackers could hid from fire of defenders inside the building.
An extension (Like a small thick tower) allowed defenders to sweep the two outside walls (connecting) at the corner with fire. By having two such extensions on diagonal corners, all four walls could be swept of attackers.
Seen any fortification methods being used to protect Argentinian homes?
Almost all Argentine homes are made of brick and mortar.
1 foot wide brick walls were very common, today replaced by hollow ceramic bricks. Still pretty tough and with the kind of thick cement layer used here, bulletproof ( at least for handguns)
It’s not common to find stick frame or metal frame construction.
So houses are already pretty solid, and almost all of them have burglar bars on windows. Many also have grating doors besides the usual wood or metal door.
It’s very common as well for people to set a rather high perimeter gate, about 7 feet tall.
This greatly increases security, specially when combined with good locks, an alarm, and motion activated lights.
In terms of architecture, unfortunately architects do a rather poor job designing with secure design in mind.
Reason why yours truly is working with other Architects in a little project that truly integrates security measures to the design before the building even starts.
The no exterior windows design you refer to was first seen about 8000 years ago in Mesopotamia, when the first large cities of man kind where created… of course, crime was a problem there as well. :)
Ventilation and lighting was achieved thanks to the central courtyard you mention.
Very cool designs, and they can still prove useful.
This one is also worth looking.
The Architecture of Irak: The Lost Art of Clay Construction