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.