Rammed earth construction has long been considered a super efficient and sustainable building method, but it isn’t usually this gorgeous. Meet the Earth House, a thoroughly modern take on this traditional building method that attempts to inspire people to readopt sustainable living and building practices from the past.
The Earth House by Art and Architecture Associates is located near farmlands in the tropical climate of Gujarat, India. The house, while eye-catching and modern, does attempt to blend into its environment. The house is 3,000 square feet surrounded by a building skin made of earthen walls. The rammed earth walls reduce solar heat gain and maintain a temperature of 7-10 degrees cooler than the outdoors.
“We have taken a conscientious decision to weave in nature through its effort to construct a net positive home comprised of Rammed Earth along with other natural materials excavated from the site,” the designers say of their project. The design shows us the way to the future through traditional architecture forms of the past.
Three bedrooms and a living area are separated on opposite sides of an outdoor pool and gazebo, which gives the interior of the home peaceful views as well as passive ventilation off of the water. An inclined roof catches solar energy to produce electricity for the home. Meanwhile, the building leaves a minimal footprint.
Sun orientation and natural ventilation were considered in the build to reduce energy requirements, as was landscaping. Native species were planted to reduce irrigation needs. Additionally, the home achieves net zero energy consumption by surrounding itself with the Miyawaki forest, an organic farm and a mango orchard that shade the home and by producing food. The house also harvests its own rainwater.
“To up the ante on sustainability, we made sure to purchase all materials for furniture and finishes from companies that use environmentally responsible manufacturing techniques and recycled materials,” the designers say.
That is no small feet. Rocks in the gabion walls are local common types of rocks used to provide privacy while serving as a sculptural element of the home that creates varied texture in the exterior walls.
Sustainability and a way forward through climate change were the crux of this design for Art and Architecture Associates. We honestly couldn’t improve on a thing. The Earth House is all at once sustainable, inspiring, peaceful and beautiful to look at.
Images via Art and Architecture Associates