Adobe Mud: Building With Earth

Simone Swan and her students at the Adobe Alliance are building with earth in the southwestern United States using adobe mud and traditional North African construction techniques.



cement stucco
At Adobe Alliance workshops, students learn a variety of earth-building techniques.
CATHERINE WANEK
adobe mud building with earth - muddy hands
Building with earth doesn't doesn't get any more fundamental than adobe mud. It's a great material — not only is it natural, it’s locally available and often dirt cheap! 
PHOTO: YASMINA ROSSI
earth building center
An adobe building workshop in Texas. Adobe is well suited to desert climates. The vaulted roof of this structure is inspired by North African architectural techniques that make it possible to build without wood. 
YASMINA ROSSI
Simone Swan
From right to left: Adobe mason Efren Rodriguez, Simone Swan and Steven de la Rosa, the instructor for a vault building workshop.
YASMINA ROSSI
site manager
Project manager Maria Jesus Jimenez at an Adobe Alliance workshop.
YASMINA ROSSI
earthbuilding workshop
Adobe bricks are laid in a mud mortar.
YASMINA ROSSI
simone swan 1
Simone Swan is a passionate advocate of adobe architecture.
YASMINA ROSSI
Hassan Fathy
Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, right, is the inspiration behind the adobe building techniques taught by Simone Swan and the Adobe Alliance.
RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD FOUNDATION
birds
Simon Swan’s home is located on the fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert in Presidio, Texas.
YASMINA ROSSI
house
These rooms feel spacious because of the vaulted ceilings, even though they measure only 10 feet across. 
CATHERINE WANEK
Swan Compound
Simone Swan’s home and teaching center in Presidio, Texas, was built using natural building techniques suited to a desert environment.
CATHERINE WANEK
Earthbuilding workshop2
Group photo of Adobe Alliance workshop participants.
CATHERINE WANEK

















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