Juana Briones House Demolished

The Juana Briones House, a rare example of encajonado construction, parts of which were built in 1844, has been completely torn down by property owner Jaim Nulman, who fought off historic preservationists, latino activists, and descendants of Briones for years. Feminists joined in the struggle for the home’s preservation as well. Jeanne McDonnell, biographer of Juana Briones, stated that historic buildings associated with women are more likely to be demolished than those associated with men.

Abey Smallcombe


Cob Visitor Facility, Eden Project

Abey Smallcombe is a collaboration between artists Jackie Abey and Jill Smallcombe. Their craft is working with cob, earth plasters and other natural beautiful, sustainable materials. They have successfully carried out a number of large and smaller scale commissions for, the Eden Project, Somerset College of Arts and Technology, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Met Office, National Trust, Sustrans Cycle Paths. They have also exhibited nationally, taught all age groups, lectured internationally and researched earth structures in Europe, USA, India, Africa and Australia.

Earthquake Resistant Housing

Specialist earth builder, President of the Earth Building Association of Australia, and guest researcher in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Peter Hickson, has combined one the world’s most ancient building techniques, “cob” construction, with modern engineering methods to develop a model house as part of an effort to createlow cost earthquake resistant housing for millions of people around the world. Hickson’s house introduces many new technologies, but what makes his system unique structurally is the addition of internalbamboo reinforcing and the use of structural diaphragms. Read more about Hickson’s research.

Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos

Architects PlanoB from Lisbon, Portugal have completed an innovative house called A Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos that employs a hybrid earthen wall system that combines elements of rammed earth, cob and wattle and daub similar to the encajonado method used in the historic Briones House in California.

Casa em Arruda Dos Vinhos construction website.

Earth Architecture – The Book

Earth Architecture began February 22, 2003 as a way to organize online research on earthen architecture and now, after almost 5 years of blogging on earth architecture, a book on the subject that will be published by Princeton Architectural Press in the Fall of 2008. The book will offer a history of earthen architecture, particularly a modern history of earthen architecture which touches on the efforts of Cointeraux, Gaudí, Schindler, Wright, Le Corbusier, Loos, Fathy, and many more of your favorite architects of the modern era. The book also discusses Rammed Earth, Mud Brick, Compressed Earth Block and many of the several earth building technologies and how they have evolved to meet the demands of contemporary society.

The book will also feature 40 cutting edge projects designed by architects and constructed of earth from the past 35 years, including work by many well known architects such as Rick Joy, Mauricio Rocha, Rural Studio, Glenn Murcutt, Arup Associates, Mathias Klotz, Predock_Frane Architects, Cutler Anderson Architects, Reitermann and Sassenroth, Heikkinen – Komonen Architects and Yung Ho Chang, to name a few, as well as important works by lesser well known architects who have produced critical works of contemporary architecture.

This is a very exciting moment in the history of this blog. It coincides with International Listings ranking Earth Architecture among the top 100 Architecture Blogs. It is an honor to be on the list with some really great blogs. In fact, I have to give props to Geoff for the idea for announcing the impending publication. If you’d like to know more about the book or would like to be reminded when the it is released, please email me, and thanks for reading about the most widely used building material on the planet.