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Five Star Didimala Lodge Is The World’s Largest Strawbale Building!
The wheat straw bales were wrapped in chicken wire (a kind of light metal fencing ubiquitous in South Africa) and then covered in a layer of gunite. While an expensive and not-so-earth-friendly material, gunite nonetheless ensures the building will last a long time. The floors were made with polished screed and inlaid with pebble borders.
The entire facility, which includes a 20 room lodge, a massive boardroom that seats 30, a function hall, and even an underground, soundproof cinema with 50 rotating seats, is built from the strawbale. Note the interior seating and shelving, all moulded into a soft, wavy form that is typical of versatile building materials. The roof was constructed with post-beam thatch. Didimala’s genius in a country like South Africa – still somewhat behind on the eco-scene – is to make a building genre typically reserved for “treehuggers” highly sought after by the upper classes.
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