The art of building with earth is an ancient one that has stood through the test of time. Archaeological evidence can date entire cities constructed of earth back over 10,000 years – City of Bam, Persia, Babylon, Yemen and the great wall of china are the few examples. Modern fashion of 20th century created a break in the millennia old developments – with earth being exploited and polluted with processed materials.
Although earthen construction has been widely used for centuries, it has been subjected to criticism due to a series of misconceptions. It has been associated with limited technique, last resort when no other building material is available, and particularly vulnerable to seismic events. On the contrary, history has proved that earthen architecture has been adopted by choice.
Another major roadblock for practicing earth architecture is the misbelief that houses made of earth can attain maximum height of 1-2 stories. The lack of possible vertical planning leads to over exploitation of land as a resource. However, Shibam, a city in Yemen debunks the above belief by building mud towers (100ft) built in the 16th century.
If humankind could attain this with limited technology and knowledge, why can’t we build it better today? Despite the fact that mud has proven to be beneficial in various aspect, why is it that it’s not used more often? Is it the problem of mud itself or is this merely a problem of modern mind?
The practice of earth architecture can prove to be a humanitarian step by providing homes for those who can’t afford. At the same time a well-executed earth architecture design can help in removing the stigma that earth architecture is poor architecture.
The aim is to design a modern apartment building using earth architecture techniques. The designed structure should be such that it becomes an icon of polished sustainable living that is at par with modern construction materials. Source and images Courtesy of UNYT.
- Launch: May 4,2020
- Registration Ends: 19th Oct, 2020
- Submission Deadline: 3rd Nov, 2020
- Result Announcement: 31st Dec, 2020
- Prize pool of worth: 20,000$
- First Prize: 5000$ (For students and professionals)
- Runner Up: 6 x 1100$ (For students and professionals)
- People’s Choice: 4 x 600$ (Open for all)
- Honorable Mention x 12: 500$ Each
- Location: Accra, Ghana
- Host: UNYT
- Discipline: Residential