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Conchita Menendez

Fans and their relationship with architecture


Fans, beyond being an everyday object to combat heat, have had a significant influence on architecture throughout history. Their unique and functional design has inspired architects and designers, resulting in the incorporation of fan elements into various structures and building facades.

Inspiration in architectural design

The fan, with its semicircular shape and its ability to fold and unfold, has inspired architectural designs in various cultures. For example, the fan has inspired the shape of windows and doors, known as fanlight. These windows, which resemble an open fan, allow the entry of light and air, thus improving ventilation and natural lighting.

Incorporation into structures and building facades

Fans have also been incorporated into building facades, providing an aesthetic and functional element. A notable example is the Australian Parliament building, where fan-shaped windows provide shade and reduce heat, while allowing the entry of natural light.

In addition, the foldable shape of the fan has inspired the design of mobile and adaptable structures. An example of this is the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest”, where the interlaced steel structure resembles an unfolded fan.


In summary, fans have had a notable influence on architecture, inspiring designs and being incorporated into structures and building facades. Their unique shape and functionality have allowed architects to explore new design forms, resulting in buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and sustainable. As architecture continues to evolve, fans are likely to remain a source of inspiration.

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