This Japanese Home With Earthen Walls Was Inspired by Sandcastles

This Japanese Home With Earthen Walls Was Inspired by Sandcastles

By Jenny Xie
Instead of dumping excavated soil, ADX used it to build a new home for a client recovering from the 2011 earthquake.

Displaced after the devastation of 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake, the owner of Soil House was forced from his home in the woods to temporary housing in Minamisoma City, Fukushima. He enlisted local architects ADX to help imagine a new dwelling that could create a sense of communion with nature despite its residential surroundings. With this in mind, the architects first focused on designing the landscape on the property.

As they excavated the site, however, the team struggled with the cost of waste removal; they were also reminded of children’s sandboxes. That’s when the plan shifted from disposing excess soil to incorporating it into the house itself. They sprayed the mounds of earth that would form the walls of the house with a thin layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam for structural integrity, creating a residence that is an extension of the site itself.

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