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.”

Mediterra 2009: 1st Mediterranean Conference on Earth Architecture

Mediterra 2009: 1st Mediterranean Conference on Earth Architecture will take place 13-16 March 2009 in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Mediterra 2009 aims principally to state the art of research, to study recent achievements in heritage conservation and architectural design, to increase university and professional training and to gather the network activities developed in the Mediterranean region.

This 1st Conference will include specialists from throughout the Mediterranean region. It will also have a transdisciplinary contribution that will bridge natural sciences, social sciences, and professional practices. A new global challenge requires a broad definition of a new discipline, with earth architecture at the crossroads of the sciences. The Mediterranean Region, with its history of many cultures and civilizations, now emerges as the core of new political and societal challenges being shared among Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Friday 13th – Opening of the Conference (Presentations related with the 1st Theme)
Saturday 14th – Conference (Presentations related with the 2nd and 3rd Themes). Official dinner.
Sunday 15th – Conference and Closure (Presentations related with the 4th and 5th Themes)
Monday 16th – Visit to earth architecture in Sardinia

DiARCH Facoltà di Architettura, University of Cagliari
ESG Escola Superior Gallaecia
CRATerre-ENSAG International Research Center and Unesco Chair earth architecture
RAS Regione Autonoma della Sardegna

Under the Aegis of
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
ICCROM International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
ICOMOS-ISCEAH International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage
GCI Getty Conservation Institute

Important Dates
30 June 2008 – Abstract submission
31 July 2008 – Notification of abstract’s acceptance
30 September 2008 – Sending of full paper
15 November 2008 – Notification of paper’s revision
15 December 2008 – Final paper delivery

1. Earth-building cultures and traditional architecture
2. Archaeology, history and anthropology
3. Conservation of cultural heritage
4. Research about architecture, town planning and cultural landscape
5. Academic teaching and professional training

French & English (with simultaneous translation)

For more information download the conference brief or contact:
Mediterra 2009 – Facoltà di Architettura – DiARCH
Piazza d’Armi 16 – 09123 Cagliari – Italy
E-mail mediterra@unica.it
Site http://people.unica.it/mediterra/
Tel. (+39) 070 6755807
Fax (+39) 070 6755816

Kerpic ’08

The International Conference, Kerpic ’08: Learning from earthen architecture in climate-change will be held at the Cyprus International University, in Lefkosa – Northern Cyprus, on the 4th and 5th of September 2008. The focus of the conference has evolved from quality of life in earthen architecture, environmental and health care, towards disaster prevention. We hope that it will bring together the related disciplines of architects and engineers, on material, construction, marketing and environmental science, to create database, technology watch and strategy.

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Cyprus has been inhabited since the Neolithic period in history by different cultures. Stone and earthen materials are characteristics of Cyprus vernacular architecture and the Island is especially famous for its earthen traditional houses and villages.

A workshop will be organized on site which will cover the restoration of a local earthen building and the construction method of Alker (gypsum stabilized earthen material) where all the participants can take part. For more information visit the conference website: http://www.kerpic.org/2008/

TerraBrasil 2008

The VII Seminário Ibero-Americano de Construção com Terra and the II Congresso de Arquitetura e Construção com Terra no Brasil takes place November 3-8, 2008 in São Luís, Maranhão, Brasil. For more information visit www.terrabrasil2008.com.br or email terrabrasil2008@gmail.com

New Mexico Earth Workshops

Arches, Domes and Vaults

Arches, Domes and Vaults starts Monday, June 9. Anselmo Jaramillo (blog) instructs and leads construction of a 10- or 12-foot diameter adobe dome on a small adobe building to be built in Chimayo, NM, at Marisela’s. Dorm rooms available at the College in El Rito about 30 miles away. Camping in Anselmo’s fields a couple of miles from the worksite. Tuition costs about $150 for NM residents and $300 for non-residents. College admission, class registration, dorm arrangements through Donald Martinez, donmart@nnmc.edu, 505-581-4120 or call Quentin at 505-581-4156.

Natural Plaster and Floor Workshop

Natural Plaster and Floor Workshop takes place in LanderLand, Kingston, New Mexico June 28-29 with instruction on Earth Plaster, Lime Plaster, Earthen Floor and Natural Clay Paint(Aliz). Please come join then and learn the fundamentals of clay and lime for your natural home. Please check out http://www.LanderLand.com for more information. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Tom and Satomi Lander at 575-895-5029.