Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel, by Kevin deFreitas Architects, is located in the picturesque back country of northern San Diego County at the base of Mt. Palomar alongside the San Luis Rey River. A very small and intimate historic chapel was destroyed by wild fires that ravaged the reservation in late 2007 and only the original adobe bell tower survived, which became the anchor element in the redesign planning of the new church. The needs of the current congregation and community had changed quite a bit in the past 100 years. Though the fire destroyed a building that hosted many, many important events and celebrations, it also presented a “blank slate” opportunity to update the facility, primarily by doubling the seating capacity.

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The Hinterland House

The Hinterland House by is a rammed earth house designed to be in harmony with the Australian bush. No fences, screens or garden areas were incorporated to insure as little disturbance as possible to surrounding inhabitants. The local animal and plant life can continue to roam as freely as before the structure was built.

Along with rammed earth, the material palette includes spotted gum, rough recycled timber, concrete floors, corten steel and zincalume. Building environmental features include the earthen thermal mass, double glazing, shading and cross ventilation that mitigates against the need for air conditioning. Sustainability solutions include the use of worm farm waste treatment, solar heating and hot water, and the cellar pantry drawing cooled air through an underground chamber.

The Hinterland House program includes:

· Living/dining/kitchen core
· Clients’ separate bedroom suite
· Separate studio & study
· Separate guest accommodation

Alderney Stones

A new site-specific installation of works by Andy Goldsworthy opened on the island of Alderney, located in the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the English Channel Islands. Alderney Stones consists of an installation of 11 boulders spread across the landscape of Alderney.

Goldsworthy formed each 3-ton boulder from a mold of rammed earth and other materials sourced from the island, such as berries, seeds, old tools and discarded gloves.

Set in varying degrees of exposure to the elements, the stones will eventually erode, revealing the elements concealed inside, and ultimately return to the land from which they came.

Dwelling in Beja

The Dwelling in Beja is a single-family dwelling built of rammed earth and a mixed structure of reinforced concrete and wood with zinc coping. Self-levelling floors of craftwork brick tiles, wood. Traditional render of aerated lime paste and whitewash with the addition of natural pigments. Betão e Taipa was responsible for the entire construction.

Building Stats
Building area 550 m2
Volume of rammed earth 260 m3
Location Beja municipality
Designed by Bartolomeu Costa Cabral, João Gomes and Mário Anselmo Crespo
Date built 2006

International Rammed Earth Workshop

On the 7th, 8th & 9th April, 2011 again is a time when we would expect you all to participate in ‘International Rammed Earth Workshop’. Austrian resident DI Hanno Burtscher has been especially invited to pass on his knowledge of rammed earth. You can read more about him, the modules and topic at There would be different approach to earth as building material, all the people associated with building material, architects and engineers, nature enthusiasts, clay&ceramic designers, interior designers, permaculture/organic farmers & all others who love nature must come forward and utilize this opportunity to know the mother earth

Other important details:
Workshop Venue: 1 Middle Road, off Napier Road, camp, Pune
Timing: 9am to 5pm
Course Fee: Rs 5999/- 140USD for all 3 days.
Breakfast & Lunch included..

Please write to us for more details. ( visa and staying facility for international & outstation candidates can be organized separately on request)

Bharti (
Prithwe Institute of Building Biology & Ecology
Tel.: 020-26354487 / 020-26343566

US/China Workshop on Earth Based Materials and Sustainable Structures & Forum on Hakka Rammed Earth Buildings (Tulou)’ 2011

The West Virginia University Constructed Facilities Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA and Xiamen University Department of Civil Engineering, Xiamen, Fujian, China, in conjunction with the International Symposium on Innovation & Sustainability of Structures in Civil Engineering (ISISS’2011), is pleased to host the US/China Workshop on Earth Based Materials and Sustainable Structures & Forum on Hakka Rammed Earth Buildings (Tulou)’ 2011. The workshop will take place October 28 -30, 2011 at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China.

Thru the proposed workshop, the organizers would like to bring together researchers from the USA and China along with invited participants from Australia, Canada, Japan and UK to conduct a joint workshop at XMU on research potential of earth based materials and sustainable structures. The objectives of the proposed workshop will be: 1) to exchange success stories and lessons learned from the use of rammed earth as a structural material and construction technique for sustainable structures, including review of current rammed earth construction specifications and standards, 2) to address challenges and strategies for advancing the use of earth based structural materials in modern construction, 3) to establish a network of professionals to catalyze collaborative research, development and implementation including international partnerships, and 4) to develop joint R&D programs with emphasis on utilization of rammed earth material in modern construction by minimizing embodied energy. In addition, the workshop participants will have opportunity to witness the sustainability of World Heritage Hakka (ancient) village in-service and learn a few exemplary lessons potentially leading to modifications in contemporary construction techniques.

For more information on the worshop and forum events visit More information on the International Hakka Tulou Alliance (IHTA) can be found by visiting Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Workshop Organizer: Dr. Ruifeng (Ray) Liang,, (304) 293 9348

Windcatcher House

The Begay home is Design Build Bluff’s first project since opening the door to more universities. The students of architecture of the University of Colorado Denver designed a home that responds to a sustainable ethos by using local clay and soils for rammed earth walls and compressed brick for a wind catching chimney which cools the temperature inside during the high summer temperatures. The Windcatcher House, which is totally off-grid and harvests all its water, features an innovative wind tower designed to capture the wind to cool the house.

The Windcatcher House includes local clay for its hand-built compressed brick, as well as the south- and east-facing wall facades. Thermal mass cools the home during the hot, dry summers, and soaks up heat during the very frigid winters. Rainwater is collected from the adjacent carport’s roof and gets reused for the garden.

As with all Navajo Nation homes, this house is nowhere near a power grid, which makes relying on the surrounding earth even more useful and important. The Begays don’t have a car, so they plan to use the carport for an animal barn.

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

original project description from the website

UPDATE: while the 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.