Funky mud house in Germany

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

An artist/architect lives here – can you tell?

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

This unique honeycomb dome structure with a living roof is located in a suburb of Kassel, Germany.

The area where the house is located was once considered blighted because of its close proximity to industrial properties. Thanks to this homeowner (who is an environmentally-minded architect), the entire neighborhood has now been re-born as an eco-friendly escape from the city.

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

Codes require that all homes built in the neighborhood have grass or sod roofs; fences are prohibited—only natural landscape barriers can be constructed; roads can’t be sealed to ensure that rain doesn’t run off; and cars must be parked in an area away from the houses.

– from: www.motherearthliving.com

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

The naturally camouflaged exterior of the homes only hints at the artistry and ingenuity inside…

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

The interconnected domes are made from clay bricks and coiled clay walls.

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

A central 13-foot high dome with bubble skylights connects the outer domes. The earthen walls of pink clay ensure that the home has a lighter, rosier atmosphere (as opposed to feeling dark and cave-like).

The owner/builder is Gernot Minke – a professor and long-time expert on earth construction.

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

In the construction of his personal residence, he clearly let his creative muses run wild. (That’s the bathroom above and below.)

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

He stresses that earth is a cheap, healthy, nonpolluting building material that is readily available in most parts of the world. Gernot’s book, The Earth Construction Handbook (WIT Press, 2000), is the bible of contemporary earth construction.

– from: www.motherearthliving.com

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

Because of the adobe-like walls, this house has a southwestern feel to it, despite the fact that it is located in the damp, cold climate of Germany.

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

Interestingly, most of the home’s clay walls are un-fired and un-finished. This means that the unbaked loam walls actually absorb moisture to keep the level of relative humidity inside the home steady throughout the year.

image from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/

Based on Gernot Minke’s prototype eco-mud home, the entire neighborhood has been developed with sustainable, non-invasive earth homes.

The housing development is hardly discernable from a distance even though there are thirty-five residences, mostly single-family homes.

– from: www.motherearthliving.com

For more information on this mud home of the future (built from techniques of the past) see the original Mother Earth Living article here.

 

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