The Casa Ballena Art Center in Los Cabos, Mexico

Casa Ballena is an art center designed for Mexican and international artists in Los Cabos, Mexico. Its design takes advantage of the topography in order to play with different heights and create a natural buffer that allows both views and private space. The earth that was removed to create the platforms was reused to build … Read more

A Couple’s Hand Cranked Utopia

In 1978 the Howards were urban professionals. Wanting a simpler, more meaningful life on a smaller budget, the family-of-4 lived on $18K/year, reducing costs to $10K/year after moving to their “intentional” Colorado homestead. They moved into an abandoned double-wide trailer on their 35 acre property and began raising chickens and goats for milk, as well … Read more

Traditional Building Materials in India

Context, climate, craft and sustainability form the pillars of traditional Indian architecture and provide precedents for new cities and structures. Indian architecture seeks identity through local materials with modern techniques. Deeply meshed with cultural and climatic significance, the following materials continue to build contemporary Indian architecture: Jaali is a local term for “perforated block”, and … Read more

Swiss Grottoes

Glacial Lake Lugano in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton of Ticino features some grottoes lining its shore. These natural caverns represent authentic Ticino and define the lifestyle of its people. Grotto Descanso is a village tavern housed in a simple stone building with a shaded terrace overlooking the lake. There is a huge wooden door near the … Read more

Climate Change Challenges Rammed Earth Monasteries

The 15th-century Chhode monastery is tucked into a side valley of remote Mustang, a district in northern Nepal. The monastery, with walls formed of clay and gravel, blends in with the wind-beaten cliffs; its towering roof is held up by wooden pillars. Inside the monastery, a monk is performing a ritual prayer ceremony before a … Read more