Bam: One Year Later


Some 26,000 lives were lost in the earthquake of 26 December last year, which levelled most recent housing, leaving about 80,000 people homeless, and damaged the ancient Bam Citadel. More:

UN, Iran mark first anniversary of earthquake that devastated Bam cultural area

Bam Before and After from Columbia University [username: ahar and password: 826sch to access site]

In Pictures: Bam Before and After [from BBC]

Quickbird Satellite Images before and after the earthequake

Conference on Rammed Earth Construction

To coincide with launch of the new publication Rammed earth: design &
construction guidelines, a one-day conference on rammed earth construction
is to be held on Wednesday 9th February 2005 in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at the University of Bath.

The conference will examine historic and modern use of rammed earth in the
UK and Europe, practical issues of construction applications, material
testing and selection, formwork and construction, engineering design,
architectural design and detailing, maintenance and repair of walls. The
workshop is open to architects, engineers, designers, building surveyors,
construction companies, property developers, researchers and interested

Issues for discussion will include thermal performance, durability, material
strength, cement stabilisation, building control, quality testing and wall
finishes. Case studies from recent rammed earth projects in the UK and
Europe will be presented. Findings from recent research work will also be
outlined. The workshop will also include an exhibition and practical
demonstration of rammed earth construction.

Rammed earth: design & construction guidelines is the result of a DTi
sponsored research and innovation programme investigating the potential of
rammed earth for new construction.

Conference speakers include:

Martin Rauch, Baukunst GmbH
Lars Allan Palmgren, Architect
Rowland Keable, Insitu Rammed Earth Co. Ltd
Pat Borer, Architect
Gordon Pearson
Tom Morton, ARC Architects
Andy Simmonds, Simmonds-Mills Architect Builders
Mark Lovell, Mark Lovell Design Engineers
Jonathan Hines, Architype
Mark Swenarton, Architecture Today
Peter Trotman, BRE
Paul Ellis, Ecology Building Society
Joe Martin, JM Architects
Steve Goodhew, University of Plymouth
Peter Walker, University of Bath

To reserve a place please: email, telephone 01225
386646, or fax 01225 386691. Alternatively send your name and contact
details to Peter Walker, Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering,
University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. Download the conference brief in .pdf format.

Preliminary programme:

Registration 8.30 AM
Opening presentations (Introduction; Historical bakcground; Applications;
Materials): 9.00-10.45 AM
Coffee break: 10.45-11.15 AM
Presentations (Construction; Design; Maintenance & Repair): 11.15 AM – 12.45
Lunch: 12.45-2.00 PM
Presentations (Case studies I): 2.00-3.20 PM
Coffee break: 3.20-3.45 PM
Closing presentations (Case studies II; Research work) and discussion:
3.45-5.00 PM

Full day registration fee: £105.00
Concessionary registration fee: £80.00 (AECB members; full-time students)
Morning or afternoon half-day fee (without lunch): £65.00 (£50.00 conc.)
Registration includes a copy of the Rammed earth: design & construction


The Department of Engineering of the Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) is organizing an International Seminar of Architecture, Construction and Conservation of Earthen Buildings in Seismic Areas. The seminar is sponsored by Proterra (a Research Project of CYTED), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI).

This event will take place on the PUCP campus, from 16-19 May 2005. It will include keynote conferences from international experts, oral and poster presentations, and technical demonstrations at the Structures Laboratory of the PUCP, where full-scale seismic simulation tests of adobe dwellings will be performed.

You are welcome to visit the website of SismoAdobe2005 at for more information.

Chinese Rural Architecture

The richly diverse vernacular architectural traditions of China are unrivaled in the world. No nation has as long an unbroken tradition and, with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, none is as ethnically diverse. China, a nation of 56 nationalities living in disparate natural landscapes with widely varying climatic conditions, is certainly more varied in its housing patterns than is the case in single nations such as the United States or even in comparison with multi-national Europe. View a photo essay of Chinese Rural Architecture by Oliver Laude from ATLAS Magazine.

Al-Abbas Mosque


Al-Abbas Mosque is a testimony to the living traditions and architectural achievements of one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Built over 800 years ago, the mosque is situated on the remains of a pre-Islamic shrine or temple on a site considered sacred since ancient times. Its cubic form also has ancient precedents, including the Kaaba in Mecca. The local population continues to revere the mosque and the site today still holds special significance for them. The Al-Abbas Mosque restoration project is a recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Ninth Award Cycle, 2002 – 2004.

Primary School, Gando, Burkina Faso


Diébédo Francis Kéré, an architecture student in Berlin, took upon himself the cause of ensuring that his village would not be deprived of a school, and with a group of friends in Germany, Kéré set up a fund-raising association, Schulbausteine fur Gando (Bricks for the Gando School). The idea met with a positive response and, having secured finance through the association, Kéré also obtained the support of LOCOMAT (a government agency in Burkina Faso) to train brickmakers in the technique of working with compressed stabilized earth. The project is a recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Ninth Award Cycle, 2002 – 2004.