MANEZH. A place under the sun

/ Architecture /
The desire to protect oneself and one's home from bad weather, bright sun and wind is natural for a person and became for him an important existential principle that led to the appearance of many well-known architectural structures. Let's try to trace in a first approximation how solar protection systems have evolved and developed and what engineering tools are available to us in this area today. Together with the partner of our column, the Ukrainian company MANEZH, we are starting a cycle of articles about modern specialized sun protection structures and elements

Even at the dawn of his existence, a man, trying to hide from bad weather and cold in a cave, covered the entrance with animal skins. Later, the first primitive structures that protected both the house and the simple household treasure from precipitation and the sun were awnings and canopies made of improvised materials. The first formed the basis of later tents, tents, as well as yurts and other types of portable housing among various nomadic peoples. The second, having a stationary character, became the prototype of such an architectural element as a pergola - a pleasant shady shelter from the bright sun on hot days, at the same time connecting the house with the garden or other neighboring buildings.

Fragment of the tomb of Sennefer in the Theban necropolis. Fresco 1400 BC. e. with the preserved plan of the ancient Egyptian house and garden of a high-ranking nobleman

Traditionally, a pergola consists of a lattice formed by longitudinal wooden slats, which rests in the form of a horizontal or slightly inclined roof on light wooden, cast iron or stone pillars; creeping plants are planted at the foot of the pillars - in hot countries, these are usually grapes. Having reached the lattice and covering it with their branches, they prevent the penetration of sunlight, creating coolness under it. And it appeared just as a person decided to ennoble the plot adjacent to the house. Here it is worth reminding that a garden has always had not only a practical, but also a transcendental, metaphysical meaning for its owner - since ancient times, and especially in the Old Testament period, the concept of a garden, albeit not always clearly, was considered as the idea of ​​Heaven on Earth, as an inextinguishable desire to return self lost bliss.

A reconstructed plan of the garden of the ancient Egyptian nobleman's house from the tomb of Sennefer

Probably the most ancient pergola is depicted on the preserved plan of an ancient Egyptian house with a garden of a high-ranking nobleman from Thebes: wrapped in vines, it leads from the central entrance through the entire courtyard directly to the house. The plan itself has come down to us in the form of a plan dating back to 1400 BC. e. frescoes on the wall of Sennefer's tomb in the Theban necropolis (ee number — TT99). However, historians and archaeologists agree that such a technically sophisticated construction could not have arisen at the same time: the idea had to mature, survive a certain "incubation period", so they believe that it appeared much earlier - approximately in 2800 BC. e. As for internal protection from the sun, the Egyptians were the first to use some kind of curtains — simple, light sheets of fabric that decorate doorways and windows.

Scientists are still arguing about what caused the pergola to appear: perhaps it is due to the weather or the development of horticulture, or maybe it is all about beauty

But the point is that these structures perfectly implement all functions, have become a timeless entity. Along with awnings and canopies, pergolas as an architectural phenomenon have withstood the test of time. Although their styles, materials and even names have changed, their purpose has remained the same for the past 3 years. It is obvious that they were most widely distributed in hot countries.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, VIII-VI centuries. to n. e. Artistic reconstruction

The luxurious gardens of Assyria, Babylon and Persia replaced the Egyptian ones. The pergolas in them were transformed into parts of the structures of covered green terraces, planted with shrubs and trees of the famous "Hanging Gardens". This type of garden was called a promenade garden and was the exclusive privilege of the palace nobility and wealthy nobles. In the same period, canopies - a fabric canopy over the throne, bed, altar, and chariot during solemn processions - became widespread. This is evidenced by the surviving Assyro-Babylonian and ancient Persian bas-reliefs, which often depicted a scene where servants hold a large umbrella over the king of their kind. Over time, it turned into a canopy, which could be installed both permanently and serve as a decoration of portable structures on which the ruler sat or reclined. On the one hand, it performed a decorative role and was a symbol of power in many cultures and at the same time protected against rain and heat. There is an assumption that canopies are the ancestors of tents.

"Francis I receives Charles V and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in Paris." Taddeo Dzukkara. Approximately 1559-1564. Hall of Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola. The fresco decorates one of the most luxurious aristocratic palaces in Europe of the Cinquecento era.

In Ancient Greece, the very layout of the house helped protect against the scorching sun and bad weather. It can be estimated from the preserved remains of the mud walls of the city of Olynfa and from the excavations of the ancient Greek settlement of Olbia in the territory of the current Nikolaev region.
The ancient Greeks not only perfected the column-beam system, built it into a logical scheme and gave the world what we now call an order, but also became the founders of the portico — a covered gallery with columns adjacent to the building.

A typical residential building in ancient Greek cities was a closed block, as a rule, square in shape with an obligatory inner courtyard: all the premises of the residential building faced this very courtyard, and the street went out through blank walls. This type of house was called pastadny. In many cases, it had two floors. All the living rooms were located in the northern part and were open with windows and doors to the south. A yard was built a little to the south of the middle of the house, often adjacent to the southern wall. In summer, when the sun was high, it protected the premises from overheating, and in winter, when the sun's low rays penetrated here, it became a natural reservoir of warm air. The southern facade of the premises often had a shadow canopy - a gatehouse or a portico, a covered passage separated from the courtyard by columns.

Olbia. The peristyle courtyard of the house with an altar. Reconstruction

In the Hellenistic period, the Greek house gets its further development. A vivid example is the open houses on the island of Delos in the Aegean Sea: all rooms are also grouped around an open courtyard, but the patio is replaced by a peristyle - the courtyard is closed on all sides by a covered colonnade, which protects both from precipitation and the heat.

The ancient Romans, who showed themselves to be geniuses of construction engineering, began to widely use arches, vaulted structures and domes. From the Greeks, they inherited the order system and the layout of a residential house with an indispensable courtyard, and from the conquered Egypt, they inherited the love of gardening. In contrast to angular Greek pergolas in Roman gardens, villas and country estates, they increasingly acquire rounded outlines, since their artistic image begins to be dominated by an arc, an arched roof. Along with decorative arches, pergolas were used to frame roads, walkways or as structural extensions, for example, terraces or verandas.

A fragment of the Nile mosaic of the XNUMXst century. to n. e. with the image of a Hellenistic pergola. The mosaic itself depicts the riverbed of the Nile and scenes from the Egyptian life of the Ptolemaic era. Discovered in XNUMXth century in the Italian city of Palestrina

Other means of protection are also used - external and sometimes internal shutters, mainly made of wood. These are harbingers of the future appearance of roller shutters, shutters, rafters and blinds. They protected not only from the bright sun, wind and rain, but also from uninvited guests. Simple tents and canopies over trays and benches helped ordinary citizens, say, market traders, to escape from the heat and bad weather. By the way, the Romans, as masters of military affairs, were the first to introduce tents into the army as a temporary place for soldiers to rest and shelter from precipitation and cold. It is interesting that similar constructions are already known at the other end of the Earth, in Ancient China, around the same time.

The term "pergola" appeared quite late and has a Latin origin: pergula - roof overhang, protruding eaves, canopy. He used ego for the first time in the 1640s. English writer, horticulturist and memoirist John Ivlin when describing the monastery of Trinita dei Monta (yes, the same one that crowns the Spanish Steps in Rome)

As for internal protection from the scorching sun and heat, both the Greeks and the Romans used light curtains on windows and doorways for this purpose (the good climate allowed it). The art of draping fabrics in cascading, horizontal and other types of folds has been brought to perfection by this time. Gradually, curtains and textiles in the interior become more and more decorative: they are decorated with skillful embroidery, ornaments, heraldic symbols, and the fabrics become richer. It flourished during the Byzantine era, when fabrics were decorated with luxurious Chinese silk, precious stones, gold and silver embroidery, and color became fashionable.

With the fall of the Roman Empire and the onset of the Middle Ages, new states appeared on the political map of Europe, including those with a harsh northern climate. Gardens become closed and become the prerogative of monasteries, basilicas, fortresses and castles. Their purpose has also changed compared to the ancient ones. Decorative, strolling gardens have become a rarity and have shrunk to tiny plots squeezed between the powerful walls of feudal castles. In the Middle Ages, a pergola was used as a functional house building made of wooden beams.

Metal shutters with massive shutters or wooden shutters are widely used, saving from wind and cold, and in hot countries from overheating of premises. Then, for the first time, dense heavy curtains and curtains appear - not only as a means of protection from drafts in medieval castles, but also as a way to hide one's private life from others, to protect oneself from prying eyes.

Along with decorative arches, pergolas were used to frame roads, walkways or as structural extensions, for example, terraces or verandas

Beginning with the XNUMXth century. the era of the great Arab conquests had a significant impact on the culture of Western Asia, Egypt, the entire coast of North Africa, Spain and on garden and park art in particular. Later, the Arabs spread the features of the Persian and Byzantine garden throughout the Mediterranean basin up to the Iberian Peninsula. The most characteristic element of these gardens was the use of water, the ultimate luxury for desert dwellers. She not only asked the plants, but collected in rectangular basins, provided coolness.

To protect from the sun, they used arched colonnades in the courtyards, reminiscent of Hellenistic ones, but decorated with rich Arabic ornaments. Gradually, their influence began to penetrate into the countries of Western Europe. In Spanish Granada, which was under their rule, for example, between 1350 and 1500 celebrities appeared gardens Alhambra. They were very small in size. Like the other medieval gardens of Europe, they were located in the inner courtyards of the castle. They are distinguished by the Arabic structure of ornamentation, the characteristic Muslim system of water elements, especially in the so-called Lion Court, which got its name from the fountain with figures of lions. And in the Moorish Caliphate of Córdoba, there were 50 people in the valley of the Guadalquivir River. villas with a similar structure of the homestead territory. In addition, it is during this period that the gardens become an integral part of the palace and park ensemble.

Alhambra architectural and park ensemble in Granada, Spain. Fragment of a covered arched colonnade with Arabic ornament

After the conquest in the XI century. by the Norman Saracens in the south of present-day Italy, the parks of the Saracen emirs gradually began to penetrate the territory of Europe, which was greatly facilitated in the XIII century. Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II Staufen, who spent most of his youth in Sicily. He built similar parks in Apulia and Naples, which Boccaccio will describe in his works. Later, such gardens appeared in Lombardy, where the first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who founded a large fenced park in Pavia, cultivated the art of civilized life. At the same time, due to the regular raids of King Charles VIII on Italy, the art of creating pergolas on the territory of residential residences was gradually adopted by the French.

To protect from the sun in Arab countries, arched colonnades in courtyards, decorated with rich ornaments, were used

The Renaissance marked the beginning of a new flowering of artistic culture in Europe. In the XNUMXth century Italy, which at that time had extensive trade relations with the entire world known at that time, is decisively on the forefront. Patrons, represented, on the one hand, by the trade and craft aristocracy, similar to the famous Medici family, and on the other by the Catholic Church in the person of the Pope and his immediate entourage, invest large sums in the construction of villas surrounded by gardens, in the improvement and decoration of cities.

A miniature from a French manuscript of the XNUMXth century. "Romance of the Rose", which depicts a medieval walled garden, combining a green and shaded area for relaxation with a herb garden

The gardens at the palaces and villas revived and developed the traditions of the Italian garden, formed in the era of Ancient Rome, and they were designed for the first time by architects, including the pergola, which returned to its former grandeur slightly forgotten in the Middle Ages. It acquires monumentality due to the use of stone and marble as the base material, and its wooden elements are often painted.

In the Baroque era, which replaced the Renaissance, the so-called French garden was formed and reached its highest level of perfection. On the one hand, he inherited the traditions of medieval monastic and castle gardening practices with his attention to the smallest details of the garden. On the other hand, the rulers of France, who became by the XNUMXth century. powerful state, attracted by the scale and size of the palaces and gardens of papal Rome. We owe to the century of Louis XIV not only the appearance of Versailles with its exemplary regular park and garden ensemble, deeply penetrating the surrounding landscape, but also the flowering of small garden architectural forms from porticos and pergolas to gazebos, pavilions, greenhouses and all kinds of awnings and tents. True, they served not so much as protection from the sun and bad weather, as much as they formed a space for rest, entertainment and celebrations.

The gardens and park of Versailles occupy 900 hectares to the west of the palace and are a model of a regular French park. It was created by one of the best masters of garden and park art, Andre Lenotre

Their artistic image reached its peak during the time of Marie Antoinette and the heyday of Rococo. It is enough to recall the Maly Trianon transformed by her on the territory of Versailles. In addition, gardens and parks at this time become open to the public for the first time, but mainly the high society. The interiors of these times are distinguished by amazing splendor and wealth. Windows are decorated with whimsical compositions from expensive fabrics and lambrequins, cornices for curtains and awnings appear.

Marie-Antoinette's husband, Louis XVI, suffered in the overwhelmingly luxurious spaces of Versailles. Including the cold and drafts. And that's the lack of finances. At the same time, he constantly built a "new Versailles" - a labyrinth of small cozy rooms in which he could not only keep warm, but also hide from the attention of his entourage. He ordered to remove the gold-embroidered canopy from his great-great-grandfather's state bed and replaced it with a cheaper one. As a result, he received 60 kg of gold.

Canopy above the State bed in the bedroom of Louis XIV in Versailles. The brocade fabric was eventually restored

With the advent of the era of technical revolution, a lot has changed both in social life and in architecture. For example, metal structures begin to be used en masse, high-rise buildings appear, glass becomes a full-fledged building material, and in the 1860s, the gardener Joseph Magnier accidentally invented reinforced concrete. The first city parks and gardens appear, and with the development of public city spaces - street cafes, restaurants, bistros, markets and shopping arcades - whole systems of protection from the sun and bad weather arise: from retractable cornices, awnings and umbrellas to updated pergolas and glazing. In addition, the industrial production of fabrics contributes to the modernization of roller blinds, including facade ones. By the way, the protection of balconies of residential buildings from external weather factors is also born in this period.

The technical revolution made it possible to establish mass production of another popular means of protection from the sun - blinds. This was done by designer John Webster in Philadelphia, USA, in the 60s. The official history of blinds began on August 21, 1841, when American industrialist John Hampton patented the product and became its full owner.

When exactly the first blinds appeared, it is difficult to say unequivocally. According to one of the versions, they were invented in the East, and they came to Western Europe with the Arabs and Berbers who invaded Spain in 711. From the Iberian Peninsula, blinds allegedly migrated to France, where they became an invariable attribute of courtesans' homes. According to the second version, blinds were invented in the French kingdom in the Middle Ages, when courtesans replaced shutters with them, which tightly closed the windows and did not allow to see what was happening in the room. Men could watch the object of their passion through the blinds. Adherents of the "French" version cite as an argument the translation of the word "blinds" (jalousie) - jealousy.

The era of modernism and the appearance of modern buildings, including those with continuous glazing, gave impetus to the development of new sun protection structures

Almost a hundred years have passed since the moment when one of the leaders of modernist architects, Le Corbusier, published his famous manifesto in the Espry Nouveau magazine, in which he formulated five principles of modern architecture, returning it to ancient ideals - not outwardly, but mainly: image buildings again began to truly reflect the work of the structures and the functional purpose of the volumes. Corbett and his colleagues Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson essentially "gathered together" all the technological possibilities of their time and presented the world with what today is called a "modern house": the buildings were freely left with columns, decor (and not only pompous, but also all ), often had solid glazing. The modern look also required modern constructive means of protection from the sun. For example, Corbusier was the first to use solar visors, or brise-soleils, to shade glass facades, as in the Palace of Assembly in Chandigarh, which became the forerunners of the current facade solar frames - complex engineering structures, for the development of which such architectural offices as Zaha Hadid Architects use parametric modeling.

Marquees, Moloko Bar, Odessa. Implementation: MANEZH

Nowadays, elements of architecture for protection from the sun and bad weather - simple awnings, canopies, pergolas, awnings, external blinds and sunshields - are turning into whole systems that can be controlled not only manually, but also automatically, remotely, with the help of a smartphone or a "smart" system house". Moreover, it is estimated that the external protection of the building allows to filter out up to 50% of solar radiation, which reduces the consumption of electricity by almost half and increases energy efficiency many times.

Pergola M-OCEAN, restaurant Zafferano in the cottage town of Riviera Zoloche, Kyiv region. Implementation: MANEZH

Modern sun protection systems have reached their perfection both from an aesthetic and technical point of view. Today, their developers use advanced technologies and the latest materials. In Ukraine, it is one of the leading companies in this area MANEZH, specializing in complex solutions for shading, protection from the sun and atmospheric precipitation. One of its key tasks is participation in the development of the energy saving program in Ukraine.

Pergolas M-OCEAN LINE, country hotel in the village of Hlebovka, Kyiv region. Implementation: MANEZH

The modern version of the pergola is a beautiful and functional design, designed primarily for protection from direct sunlight. This is an architectural structure consisting of arches and sections that are repeated and connected to each other by transverse fasteners. Today, they decorate not only the gardens of private estates, but are also actively used in the design of public spaces, for example, terraces and summer areas of city restaurants, cafes or hotels. For example, the line of stylish functional pergolas M-OCEAN, developed by the MANEZH company, decorates a number of well-known objects in the cities of Ukraine, including the KIM Bar restaurant in Cherkassy, ​​the
Mr. Zuma in the capital's Gulliver shopping center and the BAO restaurant, Panorama de Luxe in Odessa, as well as a number of private projects.

Pergola M-OCEAN, restaurant PAR BAR in Kyiv. Implementation: MANEZH

When it comes to relaxing in the fresh air — on balconies, terraces, patios — awnings that work separately or as part of other structures are irreplaceable here. Among them, they are used for shading shop windows, window openings and entrance doors, as well as for the aesthetic design of buildings - remember, for example, the balconies of residential houses or cozy city cafes with summer playgrounds in France or Italy. The assortment of the MANEZH company includes all types of these universal products - vertical, horizontal, double-sloped, retractable and even in the form of terraces. They are controlled manually or automatically, and one of the advantages is a waterproof, burn-resistant coating.

Marquees of the restaurant "Fish on Fire" in Odessa. Implementation: MANEZH

In the next series of articles about modern solar protection systems - both external and internal - we will introduce you in more detail to the range and technical features of the products offered by the MANEZH company today.