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This Off-Grid Home in Senegal Was Built from the Soil It Sits On

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From the front, this newly completed retreat in Petite Côte, Senegal, conjures the ever-popular modern glass houses popping up around the world. The bulk of its construction, however, relies on the 5,000-year-old technique of building a home from the very soil it sits on. In fact, the Khamsa house, designed by Senegal-based architect Richard Rowland, got most of its building material from the reddish soil excavated to create its curvy basement. The 3,800-square-foot home, whose thick, "breathing" walls of earthen brick absorb humidity and cools the interior, is also self-sustainable, thanks to rooftop solar panels and wind turbines.

As Dwell explains, the home's environmentally-conscious measures also extends to the large pool outdoors. Instead of chlorine and chemical, the pool water is treated in a natural filtration system, "a smaller pond lined with plants." As for the eye-like symbol throughout the house? That's purely a symbolic move—it's supposed to be a "sign of protection."


· An Earth-Friendly African Retreat That's Actually Made From Earth [Dwell]