Wood Marsh Architects Designs Rammed Earth House


Photography by Jean Luc Laloux

Designed by Wood Marsh Architects, this monumental new home in the small town of Merricks overlooks vineyards and Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay. Featuring rammed earth walls, which form the home’s central spine, their design forms shelter against the often harsh coastal environment.


Photography by Jean Luc Laloux

Intended primarily as a holiday and weekend residence, the brief was for a family home that would stand up to the local conditions, requiring little or no maintenance. The client was also keen to ensure that parts of the house could be used, as well as the whole, and as a result discrete openings appear in the central corridor.

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TerrAsia2011

Asian countries possess a rich archaeological, historical, and vernacular earthen architectural heritage. Research studies have been carried out through the last decades, gradually promoting this cultural richness even though many Asian countries haven’t yet finished drawing up their immovable heritage inventory. Moreover, many more countries of the region are considering the major challenge of preserving their earth architectural heritage. Thus, more projects of conservation and valorization of sites, many of them having been listed on a national scale and by the UNESCO’s prestigious List of World Heritage, are being set up. Another important challenge is the necessity of promoting sustainable architecture and living environment at the core of which the use of natural building materials plays a decisive part. Among these, earthen materials are both abundant and accessible, and together with the rich knowledge and knowhow related to them, offer a great potential. Many fundamental investigations on the material, experimentations on building techniques, but also R&D projects aiming at promoting innovations, have been carried out during the last decades in Asian countries. All these scientific, cultural, social and economic assets, all these progresses, decisive for the future of the Asian Region should be reviewed and much more widely disseminated within the international community. This conference offers such an opportunity.

The conference aims chiefly at assessing the state of the art in research, fundamental and applied, as well as the research and development (R&D) related to earth architecture in the Asian Region, to study recent developments in the field of heritage conservation (archaeological sites, historical and monumental architecture, vernacular building cultures), recent architectural design and housing projects, and recent achievements valorizing the use of earth for promoting a cultural continuity and contributing to the sustainable development and preservation of the cultural diversity.

Schedule
30 March 2011 – Submission of abstracts
30 April 2011 – Notification of abstracts’ acceptance
30 June 2011 – Sending full papers
15 July 2011 – Notification of papers’ revision
15 September 2011 – Final paper delivery

UPDATE: Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture: NOT Black Rammed Earth


original project description from the StevenHoll.com website

UPDATE: while the StevenHoll.com website states that “The museum is formed by a “field” of parallel perspective spaces and garden walls in black rammed earth over which a light “figure” hovers”, unfortunately I have been informed by the Press Manager at Steven Holl architects that the walls are not black rammed earth, but bamboo formed concrete.

The new museum is sited at the gateway to the Contemporary International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in the lush green landscape of the Pearl Spring near Nanjing, China. The museum explores the shifting viewpoints, layers of space, expanses of mist and water, which characterize the deep alternating spatial mysteries of the composition of Chinese painting.

The museum is formed by a “field” of parallel perspective spaces and garden walls in black rammed earth over which a light “figure” hovers. The straight passages on the ground level gradually turn into the winding passage of the figure above. The upper gallery, suspended high in the air, unwraps in a clockwise turning sequence and culminates at “in-position” viewing of the city of Nanjing in the distance. This visual axis creates a linkage back to the great Ming Dynasty capital city. Learn more at the Steven Holl Architects website.

Australian Research Council Funds Rammed Earth

Rammed earth may be a future building material in north-west Indigenous communities if a study at The University of Western Australia proves successful. A three-year Australian Research Council Linkage Project worth more than $200,000 has been awarded to UWA researchers to evaluate rammed earth housing and to determine national engineering and construction guidelines.

Holy Cross Church Restored

Church of the Holy Cross, also known as the Holy Cross Episcopal Church, is an historic church in Stateburg, in the High Hills of Santee near Sumter, South Carolina. It is located on land donated earlier by General Thomas Sumter, a resident of Stateburg, and its walls were constructed of rammed earth. Its 2-foot-thick walls were erected in 1852 by using wooden forms to hold local clay as laborers, probably slaves, tamped it down with a special tool, forcing out the water.

Dr. W.W. Alexander, head of the church’s 19th century building committee at the time, had been experimenting successfully with this construction method at his plantation home just across the highway. While the center section is 18th century wooden construction, the two wings were built of rammed earth, or Pise de Terre.

The Church of Holy Cross needed a significant renovation after termites were discovered in the sacristy in 2001. The $1.6 million restoration, paid for in part with a $250,000 Save America’s Treasures grant, replaced major sections of the termite-damaged trusses and roof panels, as well as the floor panels.

2011 International Conference on Earthen Architecture in Asia

Framework:
Mokpo National University, its Department of Architecture, partner of the UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture, building cultures and sustainable development, the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Korea, and the Institute of Earth Architecture in Korea (TERRAKorea), are the organizers and hosts of the 2011 International Conference on Earthen Architecture in Asia, that will take place October 11th to 14th, 2011, in Mokpo. The conference results from the will to activate exchanges between the public, academic, scientific and private sectors involved in research and study activities on immovable earthen cultural heritage, on the earth materials, and on earth construction techniques, as well as in the revival of up?to?date earthen architecture in the Asian Region, and to confront this regional background to the international community also involved in the field. This type of event has not been carried out at such a large scale since the international conference in Beijing, China, in 1985 and it represents a unique opportunity for discussing the most recent achievements in specific fields related to earthen architecture as well as the substantial and significant work carried out by the countries of the Asian Region, and to disseminate updated information at the regional and international levels.

Goals:
The conference aims principally at assessing the state of the art in research, fundamental and applied, as well as the research and development (R&D) related to earth architecture in the Asian Region, to study recent developments in the field of heritage conservation (archaeological sites, historical and monumental architecture, vernacular building cultures), recent architectural design and housing projects, and recent achievements valorizing the use of earth for promoting a cultural continuity and contributing to the sustainable development and preservation of the cultural diversity.

Contributions:
This conference will include specialists from throughout the Asian Region but will also accept other international contributions that will be selected by the scientific commission which should contribute to create more active exchanges and networking among professionals of the academic, scientific, public and private sectors dealing with earth construction, architecture, and innovation in earth building materials and techniques.

Themes:
Theme 1 : History of earthen architecture in Asia and other regions of the world (limited opening) :
• Archaeological sites and historical monuments
• Vernacular architecture and traditional building cultures

Theme 2 : Actuality and prospects for earthen architecture in Asia and other regions of the world (limited opening) :
• Fundamental investigations on the material, research and development (R&D)
• Architectural design and sustainable development

Organizing Commission:
Department of Architecture of Mokpo National University : Professors Heyzoo Hwang, Taehoon Kim, Il Choi, Ji?Min Kim, Yank?Ki Oh, Jeong?Gyu Kim, Chang?Geun Yoo, Tae?Hak Roh TERRA Korea (Institute of earthen architecture of Korea) : Chung?kee Lee, Jongwon Lee, Minkyu Koh, Jongkook Lee, Soonwung Kim

Scientific Committee:
Members of the UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture, building cultures and sustainable development, National Superior School of Architecture of Grenoble, France
Members of ICOMOS?ISCEAH: International Scientific Committee for earthen architectural Heritage
Other scientific personalities (Japan, China, India, and other countries)

Program:
Tuesday 11th: Opening of the conference
Presentations of the 1st Theme, part one
Wednesday 12th: Presentations of the 1st Theme, part two
Presentations of the 2nd Theme, part one
Thursday 13th: Ending presentations of the 2nd Theme
Friday 14th: Guided tour

Important dates:
March 30th 2011: Submission of abstract
April 30th 2011: Notification of abstracts’ acceptance
June 30th 2011: Sending full papers
July 15th 2011: Notification of papers’ revision
September 15th 2011: Final paper delivery

Further information:
TerraAsia 2011 (PDF)
Website: terrasia2011.org (For accessing to all data and directives)
Email: TerrAsia2011@gmail.com (For sending abstracts and articles)

The 10th International Photo Competition

CEDTERRA is hosting the The 10th International Photo Competition on “Earthen architectures: landscapes of architectures”. The competition is an initiative of the Municipality of Casalincontrada, in the Italian province of Chieti and the Documentation Centre on Earth Architectures, Terrae onlus Association The “rediscovery” of the knowledge linked to earthen architecture recomposed in images, like tiles of a mosaic made of people, things, material and places. Images that could be interpreted as “surviving structures” or “new scenarios”, as well as architectures of the territory, memories and situations. For more information visit: http://www.casediterra.it/concorsofoto.htm