Lyon Metropolitan Area and the Rural Hinterland: Pisé Decoré and Pisé Préfabriqué
In the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, rammed earth is quite a common construction technique. During a trip in 2019, we were able to document earthen dwellings, barns, and dovecotes as well as contemporary pisé buildings in the Lyon metropolitan area and rural hinterland. This article reports on a trip in search of François Cointeraux’s Pisé Decoré buildings, as well as an encounter with Nicolas Meunier and his Pisé Préfabriqué technique applied to recent public buildings in the Lyon metropolitan area.
From Bengaluru to Auroville: Between Tradition and Innovation in Southern Indian Architecture
In the Karnataka region, mud construction has a long tradition. Laurie Baker has promoted mud as a locally available re- source with a strong responsiveness to climatic conditions. His work is a relevant source of inspiration for contemporary architects and builders. This article reports on a meeting with the collective Made in Earth, in Bengaloru, and a visit to the Auroville Earth Institute, a historic Indian institution committed to sustainable development.
Ladakh and Spiti Valley: Earthen Buildings in the Himalayan Regions
Vernacular architecture in Spiti Valley and Ladakh is a strong feature of the Tibetan Buddhist culture. It results from the adaptation to the harsh environment, climate, and the employment of available natural resources. This article reports on two separate trips in 2019, each lasting about two weeks (Spiti Valley in October and Ladakh in November), during which we traversed the Rohtang Pass, visited the villages of Tabo, Basgo, the monastery complex of Thiksey Gompa, the Kaza Eco-Community Centre, and the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh in Phey.
Van Gujjar: Earthen architecture, Persistence, and the Migration of Cultural Knowledge
Roorkee, situated at the outermost foothills of the southern Himalayas, was the base camp of nearby field trips that took place between November and December 2019 in the areas of Uttarakhand state in India, extending from the Ganges Plain in the south to the high mountains and the Nanda Devi to the north. This article reports on some aspects of the material culture and earthen architecture in the Van Gujjar villages of Peeli Padav and Ghandikatta.