Colombian architect Jose Andres Vallejo is the inspired genius behind La Casa Vergara, an innovative dome-shaped residence built with sustainable earthbag solutions. Constructed in Bogota in 2011, La Casa Vergara uses traditional earth to create a naturally cool residence with a gentle environmental impact. Covered with concrete finishing, building from earth is not only cost effective, but also offers seismic resistance and peace of mind.
Building with earth is an ancient practice that has recently been updated to accommodate modern homes. Vallejo built this house using a system called Superadobe, which was originally invented by Iranian architect Nader Khalili and uses three main elements to create flexible living spaces- earth, tubular bags and barbed wire. At just $28 a square foot, the low cost is complemented by a gentle environmental impact, making for a promising architectural solution for low income areas.
La Casa Vergara’s rounded organic shape was created by stacking a series of earth-packed tubular bags. With the use of a wooden frame, the exterior shape was built up with varying sized bags into a dome shape, as well as an adjacent rectangular room. The bags were then covered with a cement mixture inside and out to seal in and protect against moisture, joining together the two shapes into one unified home. The rooms were finished off with exposed sustainable timber beams, as well as a series of skylights to provide natural lighting inside.
Once painted, the earthbag structure appears like a modern home, providing a sustainable solution for housing that can be customized with sleek interiors.