Modern air conditioning creates a vicious cycle — the more electricity it sucks up and the more hydrofluorocarbons it emits, the hotter the outside world gets, and the more we need to use it.

An Indian architecture company has come up with a solution to this problem.

Based on the ancient Egyptian technology known as “evaporative cooling,” New Delhi-based Ant Studio created a zero-electricity, zero-emissions air conditioner made simply of terra-cotta tubes and water.

Inspired by the structure of a beehive, the cone-shaped clay tubes stacked on top of each other in alternating directions.

When water runs down the structure—it’s sufficient to wet the cones just once or twice a day—the process of evaporation gradually lowers the air temperature. The porous terra-cotta units absorb water that then seeps to the outer surface, where it evaporates and turns into cold air.

The water empties out into a collection basin, giving it a beautiful waterfall effect.