• Travels

    New Years greeting

    On the occasion of the New Year I received a message that made me happy: Dear Varvara, It was very interesting and inspiring to read your book “earth building”. To a point that since, each time I travel around the country I keep looking around for old “earthen” houses. Most of them are abandoned and fall apart and it’s sad to look at them. So I started photographing them, at least I can keep the memory of them. hopefully the knowlege will be revived and used. Here is the link to the selected photos. The pictures are from Dolno Ozirovo, Gudevitsa and Zverino. Hopefully there are more awakened eyes!

  • Projects,  Travels

    Australian eartn building

    Terres crues australes or Australian raw earth is the blog of two young French architects, who for several months roam the four corners of Australia and hunt interesting earthen projects. Unlike Europe, where strong construction norms and traditions make difficult the emergence of new ideas, Australian modern earth building has developed with full force. Here you will find a link to their blog and to a short movie about their journey: http://terrescruesaustrales.tumblr.com; http://vimeo.com/119851466

  • Techniques,  Travels

    Once upon a time…

    “Once upon a time there was a village in the Eastern Rhodopi built entirely from earth…” I don’t remember when exactly I heard about it but as the thematic is my favorit, I diceded to visit it at the earliest possibility.  The possibility arrose last summer in June. I put the three children in the car, took a tent and we headed from Plovdiv trough Liubimetz towards the village of Mandritza. The village is really entirely built from earth, the main building technique being adobe blocks, used for the realization of thick walls. Only the belfry is from burnt bricks. The village was deserted, somehow deeply asleep and musty… About ten…

  • Projects,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Eco hotel in Morocco

    Earthen architecture is still alive in Morocco and is used for building houses but also luxorious hotels. Kasbah Timdaf is a wanderfull eco hotel proposing all the extras or the modern comfort in an architecture created with an ancestral technique, rammed earth.  http://www.kasbah-timdaf.com/accueil.php

  • Books,  Events,  Travels

    Visit in London

    Last week I had the opportunity to travel to London. I had long wished to visit the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) so I found the address, rang the door and introduced myself. I was warmly welcomed by Mr. Matthew Slocombe, director of the association and the conversation was very interesting. The SPAB was founded in 1877 by Sir William Morris. Its purpose since has been to care for the protection of British architectural heritage. The motto of the association is “Stave off decay by daily care”. A group of trained professionals provides free advice, publishes books and magazine and organizes trainings for professionals and owners of…

  • Travels

    Earth building in Portugal

    In Portugal earth building is traditionally present. There are whole regions with earthen buildings. The most widespread building technique is the rammed earth. For more information you can follow the blog: www.arquitecturasdeterra.blogspot.com

  • Travels

    Sikkim

    Sikkim is a state in northern India, situated at the foot of the Himalayas. It was an independent kingdom until 1975 and benefits, even today, from specific political rights. The inhabitants are particularly friendly, joyful and welcoming mountain people. In Sikkim the roads are scarce and some places are to be reached only by narrow winding stone-paved footpaths. Earth is often the only available building material, together bamboo and wood. The pictures were taken during a five-day hike in South Sikkim during April 2009.

  • Travels

    Visit Roussillon – France

    The village of Rousillon is located in the heart of the French region Provence. There you can visit an old, non-functioning quarry for the extraction of colored earth. For two hundred years (up until World War II) the colored earth was sieved, burnt, packaged and shipped throughout the World. These highly prized natural colors are called pigments. In the nearby museum and “Center for ochre’s and colors” you can get a good idea of the transformation process and participate in practical courses on color plasters or the manufacture of natural paints. For more information: www.okhra.com