• Projects

    Restoration of an earthen house in China

    Humble Homes is a site presenting interesting projects of small size but extremely functional houses, apartments, and retreats. I have been following it for two years and I can’t stop being amazed by the ingenuity of fellow architects from all over the world.  Naturally, I was fascinated by an article about a restored earth house in China. The project to which I attach a link is an old Chinese traditional house from a village in the vicinity of Beijing. Local residents did not see any sense in the restoration of a degraded and out-passed dwelling. The house was doomed to demolition until two young architects discovered it: Christian Taeubert and Sun…

  • Projects,  Techniques

    Revival of local building techniques in Marocco

    Salima Naji is a Moroccan architect and anthropologist.  Since 2002 she has been working in South Morocco ans is reviving the local architecture and building practices: “Nowadays we try to import building solutions from abroad but why should we neglect our architectural heritage. The Moroccan building traditions respond to all the climatic and ecological challenges we face in the modern society.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIEZl0RLsWI

  • Projects,  Techniques

    Martin Rauch – rammed earth specialist

    Martin Rauch is an Austrian ceramist who chose to work as a builder. He realizes many and very interesting projects in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  He has specialized in rammed earth: a technique which compacts earth in wide form-works with the help of wooden or pneumatic paddle. In this short movie he presents his own house and the house of his sister. The two buildings are situated in Voralberg, an Austrian region.   Martin shares about rammed earth: “This is an extremely old building technique which, although it looks easy at first glance, actually requires a lot of practical knowledge and specific skills. I still learn every day after 25 years…

  • Projects,  Techniques

    Eco renovation in the village of Shipkovo – Bulgaria

    Violeta is the happy heir of an old wattle and daube house in the mountain village of Shipkovo, situated between Troyan and Teteven, in Northern Bulgaria, along the Rajdavetz river. The house is almost 130 years old and has preserved it’s authentic aspect – big wooden entrance door, large windows, nice proportions. It belonged to her grand father – a prominent  villager. She feels strongly attached to the place, as she has spent many of her summer holidays. Violeta wanted to renovate and adapt the building to the contemporary needs to spend weekends with her family in the  mountains.  She strongly wished to preserve the spirit of the place and avoid the mistakes accompanying modern renovation – artificial insulation,…

  • Projects,  Techniques

    The old – new Japanese earthen house

    This short movie presents an interesting Japanese house built from timber, straw and earth. The house in bio-climatic, it uses in the best possible way the sun light and is easy to ventilate. The massive inner walls keep the warmth of the only stove for a very long time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0IYv6u1xYM

  • Projects,  Techniques

    Modern earthen floor

    We all know about the old traditional houses and their earth floor. But there are few such examples of earth inner floors that have survived up to present times. These floors have been easy to realize, cheap and good enough for the everyday use of the family life. This short french movie presents the modern application of an earth floor in a french house that is being renovated with natural materials.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iHFeXG3yAE  

  • Projects

    Ecohouse in the Austrian Alps

    The Austrian architect Claudia Stahl presents us her newly built natural home. The structure is built from timber, the walls are realized from earthen boards. This way the climate in the house is healthy and the humidity is optimal. The house is about 70 m2 big and has many big windows and sliding doors that guarantee a direct relation for the inhabitants with the natural surroundings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-cKQqP67Dg