What architecture owes to peas, chili, mint, or roses

Philippe Rahm into the Meteorological Garden.

© Philippe Rahm Architects

By: Clémence Denavit Follow

3 min

Architecture, before being symbolic, is practical.

It provides a response to the natural and physical needs of men: to eat your fill, you have to be able to store.

To preserve food, dry it.

In order not to be cold, you need a roof, and to be numerous in one place, raise the roofs and open it for ventilation.

The idea seems absurd, yet it suffices to reverse our gaze on the world for the obvious to prevail.


Over the centuries, the physical, concrete origins, these physiological data have become cultural, and have made us forget their practical reasons: for example, everyone knows that Mexicans like to eat spicy food but ... why? Because the fire caused by the pepper allows to sweat, and to rebalance the temperature of the body. The architecture and cultural styles are thus completely dependent on the climate, flat white roof terraces in hot countries for drying food, in particular, as in Yemen, steep in humid countries, until today when global warming climate requires us to think differently about our way of living and being together.  


Philippe Rahm

, architect, author of the fascinating “ 

Natural history of architecture, how the climate, epidemics and energy have shaped the city and buildings

”, published by the Pavillon de l'Arsenal.

To follow Philippe Rahm: 

his agency



Philippe Rahm, author of “Natural history of architecture”.

© Clémence Denavit / Le Taste du Monde RFI

For further

Meteorology of feelings by Philippe Rahm

Umberto Eco: “How peas made Gothic architecture rise”.

It appeared 

in English


The New York Times Magazine,

 April 18, 1999 

Stories of peppers in

Taste of the World.

Luna Kyung - Invisibles 10 Ways to Prepare Them - Epure Editions 


Traditional food preservation in Lebanon  

Mouneh, preserve the best of summer for winter

Kitchen, fundamental room with architect Odile Deck.

Musical programming

Music for 18 musicians

, by Steve Reich 

Here comes the sun

, by Nina Simone. 

In images, in pictures


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© {{scope.credits}}

Pea soup, croutons and goat cheese 

For 4 people



15 mn  


200 g of potatoes, 350 g of peas, 1 onion, a bunch of mint, 250 g of fresh goat cheese, stale bread croutons returned to the pan, salt, a vegetable broth, 1 to 1.5 l of water.  

Grate the peeled potatoes, slice the onion, brown in a saucepan with the broth.

Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes.

Add the peas, mix together.

Sprinkle your soup with mint, croutons of bread and pieces of fresh goat cheese.

With grison meat, it's also very good.  


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  • Gastronomy

  • Food

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