Casa Munita Gonzalez


Photo © Luis García

The Casa Munita Gonzalez by Arias Arquitectos and Surtierra Arquitectura is 275 sqm private residence built in Batuco, Santiago, Chile. The house is built using Terra-Panel to assure the thermal efficiency of the housing, which is constituted of panels of welded wire mesh filled of light earth that is supported by a main structure composed of beams and steel pillars.

Read more about the house at ArchDaily.com

Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos

Architects PlanoB from Lisbon, Portugal have completed an innovative house called A Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos that employs a hybrid earthen wall system that combines elements of rammed earth, cob and wattle and daub similar to the encajonado method used in the historic Briones House in California.

Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos construction website.

Tebogo Home for Handicapped Children

Orange Farm is a township in the southwest of Johannesburg. The social situation is characterised by poverty, AIDS and unemployment. The appearance of the development is dominated largely by buildings or shacks made mostly of sheet metal, corrugated iron or parts of cars. In summer it can become unbearably hot in these shacks (up to 45°C), while during winter nights it can be noticeably cold (to 2°C).

BASE habitat was commissioned by the Tebogo Home for Handicapped Children. The Austrian NGO SARCH set up this contact for us. The home for almost 50 children had become too small. In a group of 25 students we planned and built a dining building with a new kitchen, and a therapy building with sanitary facilities. A generously dimensioned pergola, a garden hall, connects the buildings with each other. The buildings we erected in Tebogo have a pleasant indoor climate throughout the year – without the use of energy. In this way we were able to reduce the fluctuation in temperature to only 9°C. Local workers, above all women, were integrated in the project. The building materials were acquired directly from the township: concrete blocks, earth, clay, straw, timber, grass mats – to strengthen the local economy and to make later repetition easier. One of the main aims was to make buildings that suited the needs of the children. They received a home that conveyed a sense of security and joy in living.

El Faro: The Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion


Photo credit

The architectural project of the Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion building is the work of the architect Ricardo Higueras for the Zaragoza Expo 2008.

The pavilion building will be based on energy efficiency, recycling and sustainability. Both the building’s shape and its use are based on the traditional ceramic pitcher. The materials used are natural and come straight from the earth: straw, wood, and clay. Prefabricated clay-plastered panels were attached to a super-structure to enclose the pavillion. More photos in the photo gallery. [ Previously ]

Bousillage Construction


The Gaudet House c. 1830, Lutcher, Louisiana

Bousillage, or bouzillage, a hybrid mud brick/cob/wattle and daub technique is a mixture of clay and Spanish moss or clay and grass that is used as a plaster to fill the spaces between structural framing and particularly found in French Vernacular architecture of Louisiana of the early 1700s. A series of wood bars (barreaux), set between the posts, helped to hold the plaster in place. Bousillage, molded into bricks, was also used as infilling between posts; then called briquette-entre-poteaux. The bousillage formed a solid mud wall that was plastered and then painted. The bousillage also formed a very effective insulation.


French Acadienne house in Lyon, France

The tradition was brought to New Orleans from France by the Acadienne (Cajun). The technique also has Naive American influences. This paper describes how “When the French built in Louisiana, their earliest houses (maison) were of this frame structure, but with the post in the ground (poteaux en terre). Sometimes the post were placed close together palisade fashion (cabane). This was a technique used by local Indians. The Indians infilled the cracks between the posts with a mixture of mud and retted Spanish moss. The French did likewise and called this mixture “bousillage”. The first framed structures were covered with horizontal cypress boards (madriers). The roof (couverture) frame was finished with cypress bark, shakes, boards, or palmetto thatch. All of these earliest structures had dirt floors and were usually only one room deep and two rooms wide separated by a fireplace.”

Tecnobarro and Quincha Metálica

Usualmente, cuando se habla de construcción con tierra cruda, se piensa inmediatamente en la construcción con “adobe”, sin embargo ambos términos no son sinónimos: el adobe es una de las tantas técnicas de construcción con tierra. Entre algunas de ellas destacan las tradicionales y más utilizadas en nuestro país, como lo son el tapial y la quincha, y otras técnicas mixtas nuevas, como el denominado tecnobarro y la quincha metálica.

The Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion

The Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion, known as El Faro, is the work of architect Ricardo Higueras. Designed to be constructed for the Expo Zaragoza 2008 the pavilion is to represent society’s vigour and ability to innovate in the face of the challenges posed by water.

The section gives information on the Pavilion’s onsite location, its spaces and building features. Inspired by traditional ceramics, the pavillion will be constructed with natural materials like bamboo and mud mixed with straw.