The traveller and author Julian Huxley described
beehive homes as built of "unburnt mud or clay, with the floor slightly
raised above the soil outside, spotlessly clean, with a recess for
cooking and attractive decorations in bright tinsel paper on the
walls. Though only a few yards in diameter, its high conical roof
gave it a sense of space". Naturally built homes like these
lived in comfortably for thousands of years.
These houses have to resist the stresses of strong winds and minor shocks
from frequent earthquakes since the mid 18th century. The door
and window openings are few and small to minimize the sun's
glare and the movement of hot and cold air
during the day and night. The roofs have a high-heat-capacity (the
ability to store heat) to absorb
the sun's rays during the day and slowly release it to the
interior during the cool night. The roof slopes steeply to shed
the occasional but heavy rains.