Espacios homotérmicos: una historia de la calefacción central en la arquitectura del siglo XIX

Eduardo Prieto


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Propiciada por la Revolución Industrial, la irrupción de los nuevos sistemas de calefacción centralizada en sus diferentes variantes (aire, vapor o agua) dio pie a una verdadera revolución en la arquitectura: el paso desde la heterotermia (el espacio organizado en gradiente en torno a un único foco térmico) hasta la homotermia (el espacio isótropo servido por focos térmicos repartidos). Este artículo da cuenta de esta revolución a través de tres análisis complementarios: el análisis de los orígenes de los sistemas de calefacción centralizado; el de las crisis técnicas, sociales y simbólicas que produjo la implantación de dichos sistemas en los espacios del siglo XIX; y, finalmente, el de las estrategias que utilizaron los arquitectos de la época para integrar la nueva maquinaria.


Brought on by the Industrial Revolution, the breakthrough of centralized heating in its different versions (air, steam, or water) gave rise to a genuine revolution in architecture: the passage from heterothermia (space organized in a gradient around a single thermal focus) to homothermia (the isotropic space served by split thermal foci). This article discusses that revolution through three complementary analyses: of the origins of centralized heating systems; of the technical, social, and symbolic crises produced by the implantation of those systems in 19th-century spaces; and of the strategies that architects of the period used to accommodate the new machinery.

Palabras clave

Arquitectura; calefacción centralizada; diseño ambiental; heterotermia; homotermia; architecture; central heating; environmental design; heterothermia; homothermia


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