Casa de Zafra y Comares Palace


This is my last week for my internship in Granada and it’s a bittersweet moment. My research in Granada is based upon two case studies. The Casa de Zafra and the Comares Palace. Casa de Zafra is an amazing example of the 14th Century architecture in Granada, Spain. It resembles the Comares but on a smaller scale. This home is considered a Nazari noble home located in the outskirts of the Alhambra, in an area called the Albaicin. There are many 14th Century architecture and designs that has allowed this home to adapt to the surrounding environment in order to have a desirable indoor temperature, without the use of electricity. These characteristics include: Long axis runs east to west, light colors, wide porches, and water cooling.


Pictures of Casa de Zafra:



The Comares is a beautiful palace that was used as the official residence for the King. Commonly known as the Patio de Comares or Comares Palace, it’s located within the Alhambra and over looks the views of the Albaicin, which is where Casa de Zafra is located. This palace has many similar characteristics to the Casa de Zafra such as having the palace’s long axis running east to west, utilizing light colors, wide porches, and using water to cool the space. However, the Comares does use additional features such as passive ventilation and vegetation. Though Casa de Zafra has some ventilation in place to air out the home, Comares has more of a predominate presence of passive ventilation.


Pictures of the Comares Palace:


The characteristics from both of these building will be used in my research to see if it’s possible to take these features and use them in modern homes in order to conserve energy. Thus far I have found that it is quite possible to adopt most of these features to modern homes. However, using a pool of fresh water for cooling causes some concern because of the sustainability aspect. With a water crisis already upon us, it isn’t wise to use a finite resource to regulate temperature.

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