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 www.prithwe.com 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)

Regards,
Bharti ( prithwe@hotmail.com)
Prithwe Institute of Building Biology & Ecology
Tel.: 020-26354487 / 020-26343566
www.prithwe.com

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 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.

Piscina Municipal de Toro


Photo: Héctor Santos-Díez

Vier Arquitectos, comprised of Antonio Raya, Christopher Crespo, Santiago Sánchez and Enrique Antelo, are the designers a municipal swimming pool in Toro (Zamora), Spain. A unique quality of the facility is that its exterior walls have been constructed of rammed earth, a traditional technique updated on a contemporary building typology.


Photo: Héctor Santos-Díez

The building, comprising three volumes, two for dressing and one more for the pool’s, supporting thermal collectors used to heat the pool water and showers, and extra water from the cleaning process, which is stored in a reservoir and reused in irrigating the landscape.


Photo: Héctor Santos-Díez

Low-energy materials were used throughout and the design for the pool received the first prize for ex eaquo de Edificación Sostenible in Castilla y Leon in its first edition.


Photo: Héctor Santos-Díez