As a process that involves the layer-by-layer compression of gravel, sand, silt, and clay, rammed earth appears as horizontal stratification of earth tones. This can be controlled and explored through patterns, texture, pigmentation, and natural clay colors.
The type of soil not only affects the mechanical properties of the rammed layers (the denser the material, the higher its compressive strength) but also influences the appearance of the walls. Natural clay comes in different colors, including red, white, yellow, and purple.
Hive Earth, in Ghana, showcases a mastery of harmony and contrast using natural clay colors and pigments. They skillfully design layers with waves and natural textures, blending earth tones and creating striking contrasts with pigmentation. Each wall construction is intentionally crafted and every wall cast within a formwork is unique.
The interior of Nando’s restaurant is a prime example of how pigmented clay can be used to create vibrant colors and robust textures, enhancing the ambiance of a dining space.
Another notable application is seen in the Hundertwasser Park Center in New Zealand. Its colorful layering is a direct representation of specific views in the local landscape, including ocean inlets and clouds.
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