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A sophisticated take on the rammed earth house

Built from the ancient construction technique, this Brazilian home is anything but unrefined

Flat-roofed rammed earth house sitting on hill. Federico Cairoli

Rammed earth construction might be an ancient technique, but this house in Cunha, Brazil, is an example of how the building method can be modernized to gorgeous effect. Brazilian studio Arquipélago Arquitetos built the home on top of a hill with a warm terra cotta-hued facade constructed from the soil it sits on.

The exterior is roughly clad in panels of rammed earth that stand without any metal formwork support, ensuring the construction process was as sustainable as possible. The walls are topped by a flat, wood-grated roof with an overhangs that covers a front porch seating area.

Woman standing on deck seen through a window. Federico Cairoli

Inside, shades of brown—save for a striking pair of teal sofas—form a monochromatic palette that keeps the space soft and cozy. Walls are built from brick, and timber slats line the ceiling. This warm neutral palette is consistent down to the details—the bathrooms have copper pipe shower heads, and rust-colored pendants hang over the tables.

Shot of living room with wall of windows. Federico Cairoli
Rectangular window in a rammed earth house. Federico Cairoli
Shot of living room with built-in wood burning fireplace. Federico Cairoli
Exterior shot of house built from rammed earth with a covered porch. Federico Cairoli