The design solution may not be replicable in other parts of the Islamic world, as local conditions vary, but the approach – which allows new design solutions to emerge from an in-depth knowledge of the local context and ways of building – clearly provides a fresh and hopeful model for sustainable building globally.1
Although mud walled buildings are widely seen as inferior by the local people because they tend to indicate a more impoverished situation, Heringer and Roswag persuaded the client to explore the use of mud construction not only to save money on the project, but to develop a more sustainable and economically responsible model for future building in the community. This new building strategy would be “based on two types of energy: muscles and sun, resources that are available everywhere…”2 The process that was developed inserts sustainable local resources and new construction techniques into the vernacular building process. It is, therefore, deeply contextual in its relationship to utilizing resources, but it also seeks to improve the context rather than perpetuating less-than-ideal practices which have, over time, become routine.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 13 of Introducing Architectural Tectonics.
Photograph | Courtesy of Kurt Hoerbst | METI Handmade School with students playing.
1 Pamela Johnston, ed. Intervention Architecture: Building for Change (London: I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007), 148.
2 “Anna Heringer: Desi, Rudrapur, Bangladesh, 2007-08 and Meti, Rudrapur, Bangladesh, 2005,” Lotus International, no. 140 (2009): 9.