Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Earth Architecture. By arch. Ronald Rael

I'm not an expert on earth architecture, but what I've learnt about it was through an Argentine friend who is a doctorandus in the subject. He explained to me about the buildings he has seen in his trips around the world, their technology and beauty. And of course, he showed me lots of pictures.
So, here is a book that I haven't seen yet, but would like to have. The synopsis from

Currently it is estimated that one half of the world's population—approximately three billion people on six continents—lives or works in buildings constructed of earth. And while the vast legacy of traditional and vernacular earthen construction has been widely discussed, little attention has been paid to the contemporary tradition of earth architecture. Author Ronald Rael, founder of provides a history of building with earth in the modern era, focusing particularly on projects constructed in the last few decades that use rammed earth, mud brick, compressed earth, cob, and several other interesting techniques. EARTH ARCHITECTURE presents a selection of more than 40 projects that exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet.

An engaging narrative addresses the misconceptions associated with earth architecture. Many assume that it's only used for housing in poor rural areas—but there are examples of airports, embassies, hospitals, museums, and factories that are made of earth. It's also assumed that earth is a fragile, ephemeral material, while in reality some of the oldest extant buildings on the planet are made of earth. The book also touches on many topics that pervade both architecture and popular media today, such as the ecological benefits and the politics of building with earth, particularly in developing nations where earth buildings are often thought of as pre-modern or backward. With captivating discussion and more than 300 images, Earth Architecture showcases the beauty and simplicity of one of humankind's most evolved and sophisticated building technologies.

About the Author
Ronald Rael is an Architect, Author and Assistant Professor of Architecture at The University of California, Berkeley. He is the founder of, a clearing house of information on the subject.
Take a look inside:

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