Historic Rammed Earth in Spain and India

On Thursday 8 November 2007 at 6pm at the International HQ of the Institution of Structural Engineers in London, Paul Jaquin, MEng of the website Historic Rammed Earth, will present a Study of historic rammed earth structures in Spain and India. Paul visited eight locations in northern Spain and three in northern India where he gained a greater understanding of historic rammed earth. Methods of construction, modes of failure and repair techniques were investigated. Use of rammed earth as a modern building material is increasing, and the study of historic structures can inform development of the technique today. A number of examples which are considered to be of interest to practising engineers are presented. The examples deal with the presence of water in earthen structures, cracking and methods of crack repair, the facing of rammed earth with a less permeable material, and medieval seismic protection measures. Refreshments will be served at 5:30. For more information download the lecture poster.

Iraq House

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal, 41, directed the creation of Al Dar Al Iraqi, a temporary structure on Villa Montalvo‘s Front Lawn, as part of Montalvo’s Iraq:Reframe focus. The structure is symbolic of homes built and inhabited by Iraqis living in rural and impoverished areas prior to the modernization period of the 1950s and beyond. The vast majority of Iraqis live in modern homes built from stone, wood and brick that are similar in size to homes in the United States. The sculpture represents the devastation of the civil and domestic infrastructure taking place in Iraq today. Bilal was forced to create a home in this style during the time he spent in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War. Without any substantial shelter provided, he turned to this antiquated method of building a home when he was exiled from his own.

Earth Architecture – The Book

Earth Architecture began February 22, 2003 as a way to organize online research on earthen architecture and now, after almost 5 years of blogging on earth architecture, a book on the subject that will be published by Princeton Architectural Press in the Fall of 2008. The book will offer a history of earthen architecture, particularly a modern history of earthen architecture which touches on the efforts of Cointeraux, Gaudí, Schindler, Wright, Le Corbusier, Loos, Fathy, and many more of your favorite architects of the modern era. The book also discusses Rammed Earth, Mud Brick, Compressed Earth Block and many of the several earth building technologies and how they have evolved to meet the demands of contemporary society.

The book will also feature 40 cutting edge projects designed by architects and constructed of earth from the past 35 years, including work by many well known architects such as Rick Joy, Mauricio Rocha, Rural Studio, Glenn Murcutt, Arup Associates, Mathias Klotz, Predock_Frane Architects, Cutler Anderson Architects, Reitermann and Sassenroth, Heikkinen – Komonen Architects and Yung Ho Chang, to name a few, as well as important works by lesser well known architects who have produced critical works of contemporary architecture.

This is a very exciting moment in the history of this blog. It coincides with International Listings ranking Earth Architecture among the top 100 Architecture Blogs. It is an honor to be on the list with some really great blogs. In fact, I have to give props to Geoff for the idea for announcing the impending publication. If you’d like to know more about the book or would like to be reminded when the it is released, please email me, and thanks for reading about the most widely used building material on the planet.

World’s Oldest Mural is on a Mud Brick Wall

French archaeologists have discovered an 11,000-year-old work of art in northern Syria which is the oldest known wall painting, even though it looks like a work by a modernist. Rectangles dominate the ancient painting, which formed part of an adobe circular wall of a large mud brick house with a wooden roof. The dating makes the designs at least 1500 years older than wall paintings at Çatalhöyük, the famous 9500-year-old Turkish village, among one of the first towns.

United Bottle

The Zürich based architecture office INSTANT (Dirk Hebel & Jörg Stollmann with Tobias Klauser) has designed a water bottle that can be recycled and filled with local soil and stacked to form temporary shelter. The concept, called UNITED_BOTTLE can be used by Governments and NGOs to distribute water locally and regionally and be able to upcycle the bottle as a building material in combination with found materials such as sand, earth and natural insulation materials such as animal hair. The simple water bottle would operate as a container for the awareness of the next crisis.


La Fundación Navapalos e Inter-Acciön (ONGD) organizan los días 23-24-25 de Noviembre de 2007, en el Museo Nacional de Antropología de la Calle Alfonso XII, 68, de Madrid el XXI CONGRESO INTERNACIONAL SOBRE “CONSTRUIR CON TIERRA”.

El Objetivo de la Fundación en este Congreso es reflejar los avances y cambios en los últimos años, experimentados, tanto personal como profesionalmente en el sector “Arquitectura de Tierra”, en España, en los países de la UE o en el resto del mundo (Íberoamérica, África etc.).
Desde un enfoque etnológico-antropológico y en defensa del Patrimonio Arquitectónico Popular y Monumental, y guiados por un espíritu socio-cultural hacia proyectos de Cooperación Internacional al Desarrollo, nuestro objetivo es el estudio y la investigación de la tierra como material de construcción y el desarrollo de cursos de Formación, que han ampliado considerablemente los ámbitos de nuestra intervención.

Vinculando hoy la tierra como material de construcción con los recursos naturales, el desarrollo sostenible y el ahorro energético en la vivienda contemporánea-bioclimática, se abren las puertas y caminos profesionales y empresariales en la innovación tecnológica, la fabricación mecanizada e industrializada ,sin embargo, sin alejarnos de nuestra preocupación por el entorno construido en tierra, su conservación y rehabilitación, en todas sus dimensiones y como soporte socio-cultural del paisaje rural y urbano.

Mas informacion:
Erhard Rohmer
Fundación Navapalos
Inter-Acción (ONGD)
e-mail: inter-accion@telefonica.net
Tel: 91 531 21 55 / 91 521 94 33

Dome Building Workshop

The Adobe Alliance will host a Dome Building Workshop November 1-4, 2007 in Presidio, Texas. Learn to build an adobe domed roof by hand under the instruction of maestra adobera Jesusita Jimenez, adobero Efren Rodriguez and Simone Swan, adobe designer-builder and founder of the Adobe Alliance. They will also demonstrate the construction of an adobe brick wall with keyed corners and how to mix and apply a sturdy, waterproof earth plaster enhanced with cactus juice. For more information visit the workshop webpage.

Earth Building Workshop

Jim Hallock, Monica Healy, and Jeff Rottler are pleased to invite you to participate in our impending earth building workshop given in conjunction with Joe Tibbets of Southwest Solar Adobe, and Lawrence Jetter of Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies. The workshop will take place November 9, 10, and 11, 2007 at the Best Western Shetland Inn, 3602 S.E. Military Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78223.