sep 2016 - present

External PhD candidate at
University of Amsterdam

A new approach to comfort
Nineteenth-century innovations in the heating and ventilating of buildings


Central to this study is the way in which nineteenth-century residential and public buildings dealt with the concept of comfort and achieved a healthy, comfortable and well-tempered indoor environment. In the nineteenth century, new standards of health and comfort demanded new architectural and technological innovations for the heating and ventilation of buildings and reversed, fundamentally changing the century-old interaction between building and environment. Where traditionally the indoor environment was regulated by the architectural design of the building, complemented by an open fire or a separate stove, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century a more selective method evolved. From this moment on the user was not only able to regulate the indoor environment of individual rooms, but the traditional means of architectural form, floor plan and orientation were now interacting with central building services. These developments eventually led to an indoor environment depending fully on technical means in the twentieth century. The growing demand for higher standards of health and comfort in the nineteenth century therefore structurally changed the relations and appearance of the structure, architecture, internal organisation and use of buildings, which had to accommodate and adapt to increasingly complex mechanical building services for heating, cooling and ventilation. Concerning the understanding and valorizing of nineteenth-century buildings, it is relevant to gain insight in these new standards of health and comfort, the way nineteenth-century buildings achieved a healthy, comfortable and well-tempered indoor environment and what nineteenth-century environmental design entailed for the relationship between architecture and building services. For this study mixed methods will be used, including a literature review, archival research and case studies.


Promotors: prof. dr. Gabri van Tussenbroek and prof. dr. Lex Bosman,
Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam.


publicatie Bulletin KNOB