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The beautiful painted earth homes of Burkina Faso

Until the girls were abducted, I didn’t know much about Burkina Faso. And I didn’t think I wanted to know more until I stumbled upon Tiébélé, a village full of the most elaborately-painted earthen homes and mausoleums. Rita Willaert has a treasure trove of images on her flickr page. Hit the jump to see just a […]

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Earth Architecture No Longer Fit for a King

Just two hour’s drive east of Dubai, the Al Hayl Fort or Palace paints a succinct picture of Emirati life before artificial islands and enormous skyscrapers became “normal.” Located in a wadi among the Hajar mountains, the remarkable earthen compound was built in 1932 by then ruler of Fujairah Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamdan. It’s a […]

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Make Your Own Compost Bin With Mesopotamian Bricks

Turn to the ancients for a green building technique that lets you play like a child.  Mesopotamian mud bricks still do the job, for free. Mesopotamia was the ancient collective of settlements tracing the Tigris–Euphrates river basin.  It spanned modern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of Iran. Modern school kids learn this […]

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Libya’s Oldest Mud City is Critically Endangered

Ghadamès is one of the oldest habitable medinas in the Sahara, and it is made almost entirely out of mud. Built in the seventh century and listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986, this clustered clay settlement in Libya epitomizes everything that makes earth architecture so worthwhile. In the summer, according to the locals, […]

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Armed Islamists Destroy Timbuktu’s Mud Architecture

Recently I made a tiny film clip to raise awareness about the pollution surrounding the Giza Pyramids. In the comment section of that post, one of my colleagues quipped that Egypt’s newly empowered islamists would probably destroy the iconic Pharaonic structures. He was perhaps responding to a rumor that was circulating on social media at […]

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Iraqi Mud Architect Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award

Iraqi architect Salma Samar Damluji has won the ‘Global Award for Sustainable Architecture’ for her mud-brick renovation work in Yemen Mud. Muck. Dirt. Clay. Earth. Call it what you like – it’s the stuff of life and also of sustainable architecture. From the stunning mud mosque of Djenne in Mali to the clay tower homes […]

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Nader Khalili Earth Architecture Arrives in Kuwait

Bringing the merits and techniques of earth architecture to those unable to travel to the California Institute of Earth Architecture founded by Nader Khalili in 1986 was always the internationally-renowned architect’s priority, and it finally came to fruition in 2011 at the first six-day onsite International Workshop in Australia. Now Hooman Fazly and Robert Gordon […]

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Ksour – Adobe Granaries That Keep Food Cool Berber Style

This beautifully-restored adobe granary in Tunisia keeps food cool without any kind of mechanical intervention. The benefits of earth architecture have been well-documented on Green Prophet, so we were very excited to discover these wonderful adobe granaries called Ksar (Ksour is plural) on our Tunisian journey. Possibly built as early as the 12th century by […]

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Earth-Loving Kibbutzniks Help Build Luxury Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem

Earth-loving kibbutzniks applied their green building techniques to the luxury Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Jerusalem. Residents of the Neot Semadar Kibbutz in Israel’s Negev desert have been constructing green buildings for decades, but they’ve never operated beyond their own turf – until now. Tasked with resurrecting Jerusalem’s Palace hotel as the 223 room Waldorf-Astoria, world-renowned Turkish […]