Building with Earth

An Intro to Earthen Architecture

For millennia men proved that they could live in a sustainable way. They lived in harmony with nature. They made use of it, yet respected it. People used earth as a raw material with sensitivity. The “modern” fashion of the 20th century created a break with the millennia old developments. Our Mother Earth has been spoilt and abused. The 21st century should find again the harmonious link between man, nature and spirit.

Vaults of the Ramasseum, built circa 1300 BC in Egypt

At the dawn of this new millennium, our Mother Earth gave us two challenges:

  • How to build with earth on a large scale, while respecting Nature?
  • How to realize architecture full of light, suppleness, simplicity, imagination and beauty with a heavy and formless mud?
Visitors Center, finished in 1992 in Auroville

• 40 % of the world population lives in earthen dwellings

• 25 % of the world population does not have access to decent housing. 

-Statistics from UNCHS

• 17 % of the ‘world cultural heritage sites‘  is built with earth.

• 25 % of the ‘ world heritage sites in danger’  is built with earth.

• 14 % of the ‘ hundred most endangered world heritage sites’  is built with earth.

-Statistics from UNESCO

This informational section of the AVEI website aims to bringing awareness about earth architecture and technologies, covering worldwide examples from past and present.

I don´t see the Earth as a formless material without consciousness, but as Spirit consciously disguised as matter.~ Satprem


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