Upon becoming a sovereign country, free from British Rule, the people of India found themselves faced with questions they had never needed to answer before. Coming from different cultures and origins, the citizens began to wonder what post-independence India would stand for. The nation-builders now had the choice to carve out their own future, along with the responsibility to reclaim its identity - but what was India's identity? Was it the temples and huts of the indigenous folk, the lofty palaces of the Mughal era, or the debris of British rule? There began a search for a contemporary Indian sensibility that would carry the collective histories of citizens towards a future of hope.
Earth: The Latest Architecture and News
Rammed earth constructions are not a novelty, on the contrary, some sections of the Great Wall of China were made using this technique. Relegated and replaced by modern methods of construction, the mud walls are currently re-emerging as an economic, sustainable solution, with low environmental impact. Even Joelle Eyeson, a young African entrepreneur, is betting that it may be the answer to the housing deficit in her region.
This is a rudimentary construction system in which earth is compressed into wooden boxes. The clay is horizontally placed in layers of 15 cm in height, and compacted with manual or pneumatic tools, to achieve its ideal density creating a resistant and durable structure.
Vernacular techniques and local materials are becoming more and more relevant in architecture, but is it possible to bring these concepts to large urban areas?
In 1984, the Amazonian architect Severiano Porto had already pointed out the need to make architecture more connected to its location. Using local materials and techniques is becoming more important each day, considering the impacts of the commodity chain of building construction on the planet. Not surprisingly, the number of projects that use this approach is growing every day, as Severiano has already mentioned in his work since the 1980s.
The art of building a shelter made from blocks of ice is passed on from father to son among the Inuit, native peoples who inhabit the northernmost regions of the planet. The circular plan, the entrance tunnel, the air outlet and the ice blocks form a structure where the heat generated inside melts a superficial layer of snow and seals the gaps, improving the thermal insulation of ice. In a storm, an igloo can be the difference between life and death and perhaps this is the most iconic and radical example of what it means to build with local materials, few tools and lots of knowledge. In this case, ice is all you have.
Taking advantage of abundant resources and local labor are key concepts for sustainable architecture, which are often overlooked at the expense of solutions replicated from other contexts. With new demands and technologies, the globalization of building materials and construction techniques, is there still room for local materials? More specifically in relation to 3D printed constructions, are we destined to erect them only in concrete?
A recent collaboration between the team of Mario Cucinella Architects (MC A) and WASP, specialists in 3D Printing in Italy, has resulted in the first 3D-printed construction of a fully natural, recyclable, and carbon-neutral material: raw earth. The circular housing prototype is called TECLA and it was built in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna, Italy) using multiple 3D printers synchronized to work at the same time.
Created by Argentinian photographer and visual artist Federico Winer, Ultradistancia, the fine art project based on high-resolution satellite images, has released its latest series “Monsters of Mine”. Showcasing pictures of large mines from all over the world, "Monsters of Mine" reveals a fascinating carved out topography.
It's no secret that adobe is one of the most widely utilized materials in construction. For centuries, it has been the go-to material for civilizations worldwide thanks to its aesthetic qualities and durability. Today, we continue using earthen materials like adobe for a wide array of building projects; however, to obtain optimal results, one cannot ignore the art and skill required in brickmaking. For many in the trade, it's a craft that has been passed down generation after generation.
Soil is the foundation of the Earth in which we all inhabit. We grow from it, prosper from it, build upon it, pollute it, and dichotomize it. Soil is an organic material providing a sustainable base for life. Yet, polarized as degrading and dirty. How is it that soil can unite nations, yet divide people? What power does it have in cultivating the built environment and defining its boundaries?
Dichotomy invites you to define what perspective grounds you in soil. Submissions should consider soil as a response to the growth, prosperous, developable, polluted, and/or divided earth that is the foundation
The use of earth plaster is very common in natural buildings; it is the same mixture used in adobe. Though easily made, its use is not widely known. Rafael Loschiavo, from Ecoeficientes, teaches the step-by-step method for bringing a new life to a run-down wall without the need for major renovations.
Design + Build Workshop, Lombok 2018
What will workshop participants learn?
Building Trust are happy to announce that our latest workshop will be held in Batu Kliang, Lombok. The region near the waterfall of Benang Stokel, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Lombok, Indonesia. We are going to work with DOME LOMBOK and three local villages that were 90% destroyed after the recent earthquake. A total of 600 houses were destroyed by the quakes and the local community urgently need new housing.
We are offering a hands on participatory workshop where participants will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and
By recognizing and analyzing the multiple architectural possibilities of bamboo—a construction material mostly native to warm and tropical areas—the following questions arise: How can we take advantage of its qualities and enhance its use in colder climates? Such regions necessarily require a certain level of thermal isolation in walls, floors, and roofs—but for these climates, we can combine bamboo with materials that complement it.
We talked with Penny Livingston-Stark, a designer and professor of permaculture who has worked for 25 years in the field of regenerative design based on non-toxic natural materials, to understand the opportunities offered by combining bamboo with earth.
Earthen construction and bamboo are extremely compatible. They offer different capacities. They compliment each other beautifully. They both require the same conditions, like breathability.
For over 25 years, Martin Rauch has been at the forefront of research and development in all aspects of rammed earth construction. As proper design with earth can only come from truly understanding the material, he would now like to share his experience and knowledge of this construction material in a design manual. The publication goes beyond projects to focus on structural elements, such as the design and layout of floors, walls, ceilings and openings, which are clearly explained with detailed project information from structures previously realised by Martin Rauch.