Half-a-century ago, it would have been hard to imagine an award for earthen architecture could exist, let alone attract more than 350 submissions from around the globe. Yet since then a generation of eco-designers has revived the almost-dormant building technique, championing its high energy savings.
Next week the TERRA Award, an honor bestowed upon natural homes built with everything from adobe to plaster, will be chosen from among 40 finalists in eight different categories in Lyon, France.
Among the contenders is a rammed-earth farmhouse located in Ayerbe, Spain, a mountain region that is rapidly losing its rough vernacular style. Architect Àngels Castellarnau sought to redeem the local typology while addressing modern concerns over energy use.