Beating the heat has inspired innumerable innovations in architecture and design, not to mention enabling the whole aesthetic of glass-box modernism. But over in India, Ant Studio has created a cool new air conditioner with a decidedly different, low-tech look.
The studio was commissioned by the DEKI Electronics factory to cool the 131 degrees Fahrenheit air emitted by the factory’s furnace. Rather than resort to more high-tech techniques, Ant Studio came up with an installation made of hundreds of cylindrical, terra cotta tubes.
Stacked within a circular frame to resemble a honeycomb, these tubes are completely doused with water once or twice a day. As warm air runs through the tubes, the water evaporates, harnessing the enthalpy of vaporization to lower the temperature of the air by roughly 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Every installation could be treated as an art piece,” said Ant Studio founder Monish Siripurapu. “The circular profile can be changed into an artistic interpretation while the falling waters lend a comforting ambience. This, intermingled with the sensuous petrichor from the earthen cylinders, could allow for it to work in any environment with the slightest of breeze.”