Helical Earthbag Shelter Built by Taliesin Student

by , 11/16/10

helixa shelter, maya ward-karet, desert shelter, taliesin, earthbag, green design, sustainable architecture

Helixa was designed by Ward-Karet and constructed by herself along with the help of other students, friends and family. All of the materials were walked in or moved by a wheelbarrow in order to minimize impact on the desert, and all construction took place within 2 feet of the shelter’s final footprint. The earthbags were made using a collapsed rammed earth wall from a former student shelter, and the chimney is reinforced with a small (~8%) amount of concrete to ensure stability.

At the end of the student project, Ward-Karet designed and built the structure for $812, largely through the use of reclaimed materials and a donation of the awning from Phoenix Tent and Awning. The resulting shelter provides a unique space for contemplation or socializing, and the outdoor fireplace provides a perfect spot for she and her fellow students to reminisce about their experiences.

+ Maya Ward-Karet

+ Taliesin

Images ©Maya Ward-Karet

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  1. edgarbaikaire August 15, 2014 at 4:46 am

    This is really nice and creative. I like the fact that functionality has been attached towards the adobe walls thereby giving the design proposal a more concise contextual approach

  2. Dinah Miller October 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Where do you piss?

  3. gatoatigrado November 17, 2010 at 7:48 pm


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