Monday, July 17, 2017

Roman hypocaust, Rimini, Italy

Roman homes were often heated by a hypocaust (literally "under-burn" in Greek): channels beneath a floor into which hot air was forced. The air then heats the floor, which keeps the rest of the house warm as well. Here we see those channels exposed by the breakages of the floor. Hypocausts are a really nice solution that is both efficient and comfortable, and they're occasionally used in modern construction by people rediscovering this architectural innovations---which is how I know that a hypocaust feels really nice on one's feet on a cold winter morning.