Bioconstruction is becoming Popular in Mexico

The Imagina cultural center on the outskirts of León, Mexico, is housed in a big, multistory facility, constructed mostly from locally dug adobe soil;  it is engineered using bioconstruction techniques, a holistic building technique that aims to achieve a circular economy, minimizing waste and benefiting people. In fact, all 3,500 square meters (about 37,700 square … Read more

Young Couple Fall Into Owning a Dilapidated Scottish House

Believing he was bidding on a fixer-upper apartment in Glasgow, Cal Hunter bid £20,000  on what turned out to be a dilapidated, crumbling, rural Scottish four-unit stone building made in a small town called Dunoon in 1902. Hunter, who was in on the project with his Canadian girlfriend Claire, was undeterred despite his mistake. “I … Read more

Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism

Billed as the “first major museum exhibition to survey the relationship between architecture and the environmental movement in the United States,” Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism presents drawings, models, and other artifacts that cover roughly six decades: from the mid-1930s to the mid-1990s. The heart of the exhibition at the Museum of … Read more

Columbia University’s Natural Materials Lab

Lola Ben-Alon sloshes water into a tray of dirt and plunges her fingers into the muck. She smears it between her hands to see if it cakes on her skin, then mashes it into a sticky lump. “You need to know how much clay is in the soil,” she says. “That’s the first criterion for … Read more

A Revival of Natural Building in Ladakh

In Ladakh and elsewhere in India, the built environment is dominated by structures that required unsustainable construction methods and non-renewable materials. Meanwhile, older traditional buildings are usually marginalized and neglected. A primary feature of this shift involves the use of concrete, “the most destructive material on Earth”, rather than locally-sourced wood, straw, and earthen materials … Read more

Traditional Himalayan Disaster Resistant Building

In 2013, Jay Thakkar discovered a traditional wood and stone building with a slight tilt in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. When he asked a local villager about it, he responded, “Sir, the house tilted when the earth moved. It will move back once the earth shifts again.” Thakkar, an associate professor at the … Read more