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10 Rammed Earth Buildings That Don't Look At All Like Dirt

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Not to be outdone by prehistoric humanity, contemporary architects are rediscovering an ancient building technique that presses natural materials to produce walls with excellent insulating properties. Rammed earth construction is the practice of tamping down layers of soil in a wooden form to shape thick walls. A combination of sand, gravel, and clay is pressed down into bands and allowed to set, and the striking end result looks similar to sedimentary layers in rock. When done well, this style of earthen cladding looks supremely handsome. Want proof? Take a look at 10 examples, below.

—Annie Werbler

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