Iran-born architect Nader Khalili has a technique for building earthquake-proof houses, but he is struggling to sell it to governments even though he teaches it for free and it could save countless lives.
Iranian-born architect, Nader Khalili, now working in California’s seismic zone urged his fellow Iranians to try his “superadobe” building technique, using sandbags and barbed wire, in rebuilding the 2,000 year old quake-flattened city of Bam.
A devastating earthquake virtually leveled the historic heart of Bam which was one of the wonders of Iran’s cultural heritage, boasting a 2000-year-old citadel that was the largest mud-brick structure in the world. Built entirely of mud bricks, clay, straw and the trunks of palm trees, the city’s old quarter dates from pre-Islamic times, although most of the monuments were from Iran’s modern heyday under the Safavid rulers of the 16th and 17th centuries. 20,000 feared dead in the collapse of buildings in the city.
Photos of Bam pre-2003 earthquake:
Photo of Bam post-2003 earthquake:
Iranian born Nader Khalili, California architect/author is the world renowned Earth Architecture teacher and innovator, and author. He has been a licensed architect in the State of California since 1970, and has practiced both in the U.S. and abroad. Click here to visit Khalili’s website: Cal-Earth, The California Institute for Earth Art and Architecture.
His books, Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture: How to Build Your Own and Racing Alone document his life of searching for a method to fire mud houses and turn them to stone by firing and glazing an entire building after it is constructed from clay-earth on site.
The Ninth Conference on the Research and Protection of Unbaked Mud Monuments opened at Dowlatabad Garden and was attended by a number of world experts. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Head of Yazd province Cultural Heritage Department Seyed Mohammad Beheshti reiterated the importance of the unbaked mud monuments and the inherent complexities of the material.
The 9th Conference on the study and Conservation of Earthen Architecture in Yazd, Iran from November 29 to December 2, 2003.