AUSTRIA - Loam houses around the world

Our group consisted of ten male migrants. Five came from Afghanistan, three from Syria, and two from sub‐Saharan African countries. The theme of our work was to find out how loam (clay) is used for buildings in many parts of the world.

Sun-dried loam has been used for buillding since thousands of years

Sun-dried loam has been used for buillding since thousands of years. We can find houses made of mud bricks not onlyin Afghanistan, Syria or Africa, but also in Austria and Germany.

The oldest mud building is 5000 years old. The ceremonial enclosure of Khasekhemwy–Hierakonpolis is located in Egypt. Khasekhemwy–Hierakonpolis

It is the oldest freestanding monumental mud-brick structure in the world and one of the earliest upstanding remnant of Egypt’s long and rich tradition of mud-brick construction, Measuring 67m by 57m in dimensions, with walls 5m thick at their base, the ‘Fort’ is still preserved in places to near its original height of 10m.

But also in the 21st century loam archtecture is employed!

This picture shows a loam house built with a 3D printer A new kind of 3D-printed house is currently taking shape outside of Bologna, Italy, and its makers think it could be the future of sustainable 3D-printed architecture. Called the TECLA, the house is built from clay extruded into an elegant mound shape. It’s the work of Mario Cucinella, an architect who founded the School of Sustainability and helped develop the printer technology behind the project.

D-CULTers at a loam building seminar!

In summer 2019, some members of our group attended a seminar for loam building in an Austrian museum village. There we learned the art how to form bricks from loam with our hands.

Mud brickproduction today

This work is has not changed over thousands of years andis still practiced today in many parts ofthe world.

Mud brick production

In Afghanistan many houses are built in this traditional way. Mud bricks are dried in the sun.

Building a house with mud bricks

Building a hose with mud bricks is not only cheaper but has also ecological advantages: the material comes from nearby and needs no long transport, and no energy is needed forburiningthe bricksat high temperatures.

Mud brick production

We were proud to learn this ancient craft which gives us understanding oft he traditional architecture in many places oft he world – in our home countries but also in the Eastern parts of Austria where we have found a new home!


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