Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mud House, Marfa, Texas,USA By Rael San Fratello Architects

Project Date: 2009
Project Location: Marfa, Texas
Project Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Mason Edge

The Mud House is located in Marfa, TX, a town invested in a culture of art and architecture as influenced by the late artist Donald Judd, and situated In the West Texas desert landscape. Ocotillo, mesquite, yucca and sotol serve as the backdrop, and the view of the landscape from the house extends out to the Davis Mountains in the distance.
The Mud House is a large earthen box, designed to be easily constructed of mud brick and plastered with local soils both inside and out by the client himself (who had never built before), contains a smaller box inside that houses the major utilities of the house (kitchen, bathrooms, storage, boiler, etc).
The thick earthen walls keep the interior cool in the summer and in combination with a concrete floor with embedded radiant keep the house warm in the winter.
The contrast between the thick, earthen walls and the concrete lintels that interpenetrate the façade to create openings, as well as the use of stainless steel in contrast with the earth, create a tension between old and new, rough and smooth, and the industrial and non-industrial.
Two types of mud bricks, or adobes, were used in the construction. The lower portion has adobes made in New Mexico that posses a higher compressive strength and resistance to water. Towards the top of the wall, adobes made in nearby Ojinaga, Mexico were used that are lighter in both weight and color.
Inside, a large courtyard opens to the interior and to the sky, bringing in vast quantities of light, while shielding the desert sun....more

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