ARCH 1121 An Introduction to Architecture…Spring 2016 Mishara

Often times when people think of igloos, words such as winter, snow, Eskimo, and cold pop into their minds. However, people never look at an igloo and think to themselves how architecture played a big role in building that structure. The same problem occurs when it comes to Yurts. These remarkable works are created without even crediting one of the most oldest professions in the world; architecture.
Igloos are built in colder areas such as Greenland in order to keep people warm. However, they are not only limited to those areas. Yurts however, are commonly found in Mongolia, or Central Asia. What makes igloos so interesting is the fact that it is built of snow – something so soft, yet is used as a strong material. Yurts are built from felt, or skins, that cover the framework on the inside.
While igloos were once used for living, they are now built usually as a showcase, or a place to hang out during colder weather as protection; apart from the home. Yurts, on the other hand still are used for living, except only in certain seasons. While taking a closer look at the two structures, we come to realize that they are two beautiful forms of architecture. The igloo can be admired for its dome shape characteristic and the way of which it is held up with ease by a stacks of ice/snow. The Yurt is credited for its internal beauty. From the outside one may think that just as the igloo was built, the yurt is. Much like a tent, the inner framework of a yurt is quite beautiful.
Igloos are built so that you have to go underground to enter. This is so that the cold breeze can not fully enter or increase in the inside of the structure. This is a great example of architecture because it ensures that people are safe from the cold, and comfortable as well. In contrast, yurts are built on the surface and often times, people would have to step up a bit I order to get inside. While this may not be as great of a protection as the igloo, the yurt has a door of some sort often times that allow you to block the cold from crossing.
For a long time, people have been building these structures without being recognized for their work. It is truly hard to understand sometimes how something so simple can be unfolded and broken down into beautiful examples of architecture. Instead of using materials that are harmful to the environment, those who constructed the yurt and the igloo take from the environment and build from it. This to me, is the main concept of architecture. We should always be building to use the environment to our advantage without harming it.

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