Haus Ihlow

Berlin based architect Eike Roswag’s Haus Ihlow is a renovation and addition to a historic stone barn using rammed earth built in the country side near Berlin. It is the first load bearing housing project in Germany since the 1950s. The construction is based on the “Lehmbauregeln”, but build with surprisingly thin walls (30cm) and large openings for windows.

The house has passive solar heating with a 60 m2 hot water collector and can store 4,000 liters of water supplemented by a wood fire place, connected to a floor and wall heating system. The owners use rain water for toilets and do wastewater treatment before draining the water on their own ground. Roswag’s firm, werk_A has many other projects in rammed earth.

Earth Architecture—THE BOOK: Coming This December to Fine Bookstores Everywhere

ISBN 9781568987675 8.5 x 9 inches (21.6 x 22.9 cm), Hardcover, 208 pages 222 color illustrations; 96 b/w illustrations; A PAPress publication. Pre-Order Earth Architecture if you live in the following countries:

[ U.S. | Japan | Germany | U.K. | France | Australia ]

Currently it is estimated that one half of the world’s population—approximately three billion people on six continents—lives or works in buildings constructed of earth. And while the vast legacy of traditional and vernacular earthen construction has been widely discussed, little attention has been paid to the contemporary tradition of earth architecture. Author Ronald Rael, founder of provides a history of building with earth in the modern era, focusing particularly on projects constructed in the last few decades that use rammed earth, mud brick, compressed earth, cob, and several other interesting techniques. EARTH ARCHITECTURE presents a selection of more than 40 projects that exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet.

An engaging narrative addresses the misconceptions associated with earth architecture. Many assume that it’s only used for housing in poor rural areas—but there are examples of airports, embassies, hospitals, museums, and factories that are made of earth. It’s also assumed that earth is a fragile, ephemeral material, while in reality some of the oldest extant buildings on the planet are made of earth. The book also touches on many topics that pervade both architecture and popular media today, such as the ecological benefits and the politics of building with earth, particularly in developing nations where earth buildings are often thought of as pre-modern or backward. With captivating discussion and more than 300 images, Earth Architecture showcases the beauty and simplicity of one of humankind’s most evolved and sophisticated building technologies.

Ancient Mud Brick Pyramid Discovered

A new remote sensing technology has peeled away layers of mud and rock near Peru’s Cahuachi desert to reveal an ancient adobe pyramid, Italian researchers announced on Friday at a satellite imagery conference in Rome. The researchers investigated a test area along the river Nazca. Covered by plants and grass, it was about a mile away from Cahuachi’s archaeological site, which contains the remains of what is believed to be the world’s biggest mud city.