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Traditional buildings were developed over a long period of time to create a sensitive solution to the particular characteristics of the environment in which they were constructed.These characteristics varied over the Arab world and, even in Qatar, varied between the coastal and interior developments due to the different conditions obtaining in those areas. Qatar enjoys a hot, humid maritime climate on its littoral with drier conditions in the interior.The array of windtowers above are in Dubai, not Qatar, as there is only a single original example left standing in Doha.However this windtower is part of a complex constructed for the purpose of filming, and is situated near Zikreet in the north of the peninsula.Taken in Doha in the 1970s, it bears witness to a perceived need to circulate air within a small residential compound, and the capability to construct a simple, functional device.Its rectangular form allows air to be introduced or led into, in this case a corner of the courtyard, in order to accommodate all possible variations in wind direction.The use of the mangrove poles is also relatively authentic.The windtower is sympathetic to the architecture of Qatar which is simpler than that of its neighbours where their footprint tends to be larger and the degree of decoration considerably greater.

I should also mention that the courtyard acts as a reservoir for cool night air as well as the rooms as it is through the courtyard that the air enters the surrounding rooms.

I shall make notes on this a little further down the page.

go to top of page This first photograph illustrates a form of the device generally recognised as a traditional wind tower.

Looking up the wind tower, in the second photograph, you can see the cross-bracing that has been introduced at 45° in order to strengthen the structure.

To some extent the mangrove poles built into the vertical corner columns also provide a similar function.

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