Earth Bricks/ 土プロジェクト


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After starting research, the clients who were fascinated by Tekuto’s design approach using natural materials and alternative construction methods appeared for 18 months.

There is no structure category “Soil Structure” in the Japanese Building Code, and masonry is the only way to use soil as a structural material. There are couples of condition we need to clear to use Earth Bricks structure more effectively.  Cleared various conditions, Atelier Tekuto has finally started  to build an architecture with “Earth Bricks”.

Process of making earth bricks

The construction process was also continuation of trial and error. Collection of soil, analysis of particle size, appropriate mix ratio, experiments with form-work for the bricks production, pouring and de-type of the bricks, the setting of the curing period while controlling temperature and humidity.  Almost every process was examined on the site for the first time. To form the curved walls we needed to produce over the dozens of various brick’s shapes. Tekuto’s team also went to the site duty along with professional craftsmen to work on the house construction and production of the “Earth Bricks”. Both clients also participated in the construction.


The art of architecture

Architecture is composite art. Not only the structure, we have put various architectural ideas everywhere of the building.
The roof is hybrid frame made of steel and wood, covering complex shape of the house with the simple frame structure. The natural ventilation system is also installed in the top part.
Between the break wall and the roof, there is the steel beam and the belt of semi-transparent “glass bricks” where installed “Glass bricks” are creating ambient indirect interior illumination of the house.
In the kitchen and the bathroom there were wooden panels used called LVL (Laminated veneer lumber.) The floor, kitchen and bathtub are finished with custom-made terrazzo.

“Earth Bricks” completion

After beginning research on the soil structure about 3 years have passed. The “Earth Project” using the Earth Bricks structure completion was possible through the great cooperation of members of our multidisciplinary team: research institutions, private enterprises, Tekuto’s team and the clients.
After completion of the house we have continued our analysis of the “Earth Bricks” building performance. We could observe “Earth Bricks” aging behavior and collect the data of indoor and outdoor environments based on clients feedback.
Moreover, the patent for the “Earth Bricks” structure was acquired through an examination in 2015.

「Earth Bricks」のページはこちら

Next step

While construction of the house from the “Earth Bricks” was progressing, the Great East Japan Earthquake happened on March 11 in 2011. Huge tsunami attacked the north-east coast destroying many houses on its away.  Merciless wreckage and the soil containing salt from the sea water were left after this disaster.

Magnesium oxide from the sea water origin is blended into an “Earth Bricks.” Although it cannot be used as farmland soil any longer, the soil which has absorbed salt after tsunami can be used for production of the «earth bricks” effectively.

We would like to apply the know-how of an “Earth Bricks” structure, and develop “Earth Bricks” manufacture as part of post-disaster housing recovery program.

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