Area adobe specialists will give talk in DC
By RICHARD MARK GLOVER
PRESIDIO, MARFA – Seasonal Presidio County residents Simone Swan and Ronald Rael will present talks on earth architecture next week at the American Institute of Architects’ annual convention in Washington, D.C.
Swan, who studied with Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, author of “Architecture for the Poor,” will present, “The Roof is No Longer a Problem: Housing in Desert Climates.” Swan is the founder of Adobe Alliance and offers adobe workshops at the Swan House off Casa Piedra Road near Presidio twice annually. She will offer her experience and know-how of Nubian style adobe brick roof technology at the seminar.
Rael, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of California in Berkeley, will present “Organic Matters (or Earth Architecture): Discovering that a Solution to our Greatest Challenges is Already Underfoot.” He will make the case for earth as a relevant material choice and viable solution for building. Rael is the author of “Earth Architecture” and his website EarthArchitecture.org was ranked by MoPo as one of the top 20 blogs on architecture worldwide. Rael has been the lead architect in several Presidio County projects, including the Tick-Mowers House in Marfa and the Prada Marfa installation in Valentine.
An objective of the seminar will be to recognize the benefits and challenges of earth construction and earth environments, including the sustainable properties, climatic conditions, basic structural principles, typical construction processes and best practices. The panel will also discuss the relevance of earth as a building material for humanitarian design applicable to low-cost housing, disaster mitigation and ecological responsibility.
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