The Great Wall of WA - 230 Metres of Rammed Earth Wall

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The longest rammed earth wall in Australia and – probably – the southern hemisphere, has been selected as a finalist in the (Australian Institute of Architects) Western Australia architecture awards.

At 230 metres long, the rammed earth wall meanders along the edge of a sand dune and encloses twelve earth covered residences, created to provide short-term accommodation for a cattle station during mustering season. With their 450mm thick rammed earth facade and the sand dune to their rear and forming their roofs, the residences have the best thermal mass available, making them naturally cool in the subtropical climate.

The rammed earth wall (construction) is composed of the iron rich, sandy clay that is a dominant feature of the site, gravel obtained from the adjacent river and (bonded with) water from the local bore (hole).

The design of the accommodation represents a new approach to remote North Western Australia architecture, moving away from the sun baked, thin corrugated metal shelters to naturally cooled architectural earth formations.

The rammed earth wall (construction) is composed of the iron rich, sandy clay that is a dominant feature of the site,...
The residences are stepped to maintain a level of privacy on each covered veranda.
At 230 metres long, the rammed earth wall meanders along the edge of a sand dune and encloses twelve earth covered...
The oval chapel overlooks a family cemetery and ghost and river gums that line the riverbank in the background.
Rammed earth extracted from the local clay pans, pebbles and gravel quarried from the river bed are the palette of...
A glass covered oculus, oriented east and inspired by the Pantheon of Rome, maintains a celestial connection.
Below the chapel lies a hundred year old cemetery, enclosed by a simple fence to keep the local fauna out.
The northern end of the rammed earth wall tapers down to where an older building is used as a communal meeting and...
The centrally located chapel also forms the apex of the sand hill.
Gold annodised aluminium sheets line the ceiling of the ‘chapel’, cyclonic rated, curved sliding windows can close the...
Internally, one finds a comfortable environment, cooled by the rammed earth walls and the metre deep sand hill.
The longest rammed earth wall in Australia and – probably – the southern hemisphere, has been selected as a finalist in...
The roof is made from Cor-Ten steel sheets, forming an oblique cone and culminating with a skylight in the apex.
The awning roof is a Cor-Ten steel cyclonic shade frame, mirrored by a concrete slab on (the) ground.
The deep awning roof is designed to keep the sun out during the hottest part of the day and invite the inhabitant to...
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