William Atkinson – Solar Pioneer

The Orientation of Buildings or Planning for Sunlight, 1912, William Atkinson, Fellow of the Boston Society of Architects

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“New England colonials built salt box houses with south-
facing glass. By 1860, solar building was a lost art in the US. Millions
of immigrants came to cities like Philadelphia and lived in houses with
random orientations. In 1912, architect William Atkinson built a “sun house”
near Boston. It worked fine and reached 100 degrees indoors on freezing days.
He wrote a book about it, and his work was forgotten, in a kind of solar
amnesia.” from Environmental sermon


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