Designing the Earth (pages 44-51)
A real life hobbit dwelling? Or just modern adobe architecture?
Frank Lloyd Wright reinvented and revitalized the ancient practice of earth-pressing architecture in his turn-of-the-century designs. Wright used large sloping banks of dirt, also known as berms, to serve as both walls and insulation for his designs. Philip Johnson, another prominent architect, wedged his homes into the sides of hills.
Both of these architects and their designs were not only primarily focused on the aesthetics of these projects but also their functionality. Particularly with the energy crises in the 1970’s and even today, these modern adobe structures more effectively used natural resources, both conserving nature and saving energy.
Inspiration for this type of architecture can be found as far back as the Native American earth mounds and cave dwellings (discussed in a previous blog post). These designs are not only for the wealthy, but this “raw” type of construction is perfect for poverty-stricken countries. I love how the article points out: “Homo sapiens sapiens, after 100,000 years or so on the scene, is about to complete a full circle in the housing cycle” (51).
Personally, I would love to live in one of these homes. I cannot imagine to the extent these homes are environmentally and economically friendly!