Thursday, February 28, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rammed Earth In Idaho

I'm not sure if there are any rammed earth structures in Idaho, but I do know that there is a rammed earth builder in Idaho.

His name is Paul Lamon and there's a lovely article about him here.

If you need a rammed earth contractor in the uppper left hand corner of the United States (Washington, Oregon or even Montana) look him up. He isn't SIREWall certified, which is a relief, he was trained by Chandler Huston, developer of the Peb 8A.

Paul should consider having The Rammed Earth, also of Boise, Idaho, perform at his next corporate function.

I look forward to posting photos of Mr Lamon's upcoming projects later this year.

Rammed Earth in Little Fairy Town

If I were going to build with rammed earth in Fayetteville, the first thing I'd want to know is how close I was to that pesky New Madrid Fault Line.

Structural Engineers can be so picky about seismic stability.

I've always wanted to visit Arkansas, since they have ALL the crystals and hot springs.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rammed Earth In Brazil!

Our correspondent in São Paulo sent these lovely photos of La Igreja da Nossa Senhora D´Ajuda in Itaquaquecetuba, Brazil.

Built in 1624 by Padre João Alvares with the aid of other Jesuit priests and, of course, the natives.

The church walls are constructed of tapia de pilão or taipa de pilão which is Portuguese for rammed earth.

The church has been added to and painted a few times in the last 300 years.

That's to keep track of the solstices and cross quarter days.

I don't think these sections are made of tapia.

The walls are a metre thick.

Catechism classroom.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yes, your house IS making you look fat!

If everyone would just go back to where they came from and FIX IT, everything would be much better.

We used to live in super-sustainable Portland (and the East Village, The Wedge, The Plateau, the Mission, The Drive and other urban success stories) and it became less and less livable the more we read about it in magazines.

So we cashed in our most recently gentrified neighbourhood for an alleged Smart Growth town in Canada's Redneck Wine Country.

You can read about our efforts to build a rammed earth house of our own design on an infill lot in an agricultural town under tremendous development pressure here.

This blog is devoted to our studies of the world's oldest construction method RAMMED EARTH!

Is it for the rich? Is it for the poor? Is it for the few? Is it for the many? It's for EVERYONE!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Reading Round-Up

This will be old news to some, but we now rely on our library for the latest reading materials and there was a bit of a waiting list for Design Like You Give A Damn:Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises edited by Architecture for Humanity.

In addition to inspiring information about figures such as the controversial Fred Cuny and Egyptian visionary Hassan Fathy, the book contains two examples of rammed earth, the Mason's Bend Chapel designed and constructed by the late Samuel Mockbee's Rural Studio, of which you've seen a million photos by now

But you should really read it because it is a truly inspiring collection of projects, large and small, designed to make life better for the most of us.
One of the featured projects is the now dismantled Dome Village of Los Angeles which I had opportunity to photograph in 2005.
These domes were homes for 12 years before they were sold on ebay last year.