• Scarlett Lee

Sensual earth

During the ramming course, fabric make changes in its form while meeting earth - bulging, stretching, pulling and tension. The dramatic changes in its form contribute to shaping the whole profile of rammed earth. Interestingly, the dynamic shape of fabric formed rammed earth also leads us to change the way we observe the rammed earth.



Sensual earth, fabric formed rammed earth, fabric formwork, rammed earth, earth structure, earth architecture, earth wall, low tech, sustainable architecture, sustainable design, construction technology, sustainable materials, soil, self build

Sensual earth, fabric formed rammed earth, fabric formwork, rammed earth, earth structure, earth architecture, earth wall, low tech, sustainable architecture, sustainable design, construction technology, sustainable materials, soil, self build

Sensual earth, fabric formed rammed earth, fabric formwork, rammed earth, earth structure, earth architecture, earth wall, low tech, sustainable architecture, sustainable design, construction technology, sustainable materials, soil, self build


Sensual earth, fabric formed rammed earth, fabric formwork, rammed earth, earth structure, earth architecture, earth wall, low tech, sustainable architecture, sustainable design, construction technology, sustainable materials, soil, self build

Sensual earth, fabric formed rammed earth, fabric formwork, rammed earth, earth structure, earth architecture, earth wall, low tech, sustainable architecture, sustainable design, construction technology, sustainable materials, soil, self build

For most of rammed earth made by rigid formwork, it is good enough to appreciate from a single viewpoint as the profile is mostly a straight and flat surface. On the other hand, fabric formed rammed earth showcases a transforming appearance along with viewpoints. For example, if you are carefully observing the vertexes where squares are meeting around the corner of the wall from the front elevation, it is indented. But, if you slightly move your viewpoint towards a corner, the vertexes stand out. This changing looks of the fabric formed rammed earth is very much interesting leading viewers to observe it from diverse viewpoints.



If you examine the rammed earth wall carefully, the level of undulation of this fabric formed rammed earth is greater than the rammed earth I built in Korea. There are two factors that caused this. The horizontal steel reinforcement bars were placed outwards for this time. Because the distance between fabric and these steel bars became greater, the fabric of the corner was stretched greatly so that rammed earth was created following its profile. This exactly shows that how small construction details can give a great impact on shaping the profile of the rammed earth wall. Another reason is more likely due to the use of an electrical rammer. An electrical rammer produced a higher compaction than a manual rammer, therefore, it led the fabric to be bulged more.


The more I build fabric formed rammed earth, the more I discover an interesting performance between the two materials – fabric and earth.


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