The Natural Homes Cob House Collection... 10 of the Best

  Ileana Mavrodin's cob home  

Ileana talks about her cob home


This is one of the cob homes built by architect and natural builder Ileana Mavrodin of Casa Verde in Banat, Romania. She, with a few others, are using natural materials in Romania to help people rediscover their local skills and community spirit.


This home was the first fully permitted cob house in Canada. It was a collaboration between Pat and Tracy [], Ianto [] and Elke [] with a team of volunteers. The roof is totally load bearing on the cob walls. The house, built in 1999, is 600 sq.ft (56m2) on 2 floors and cost about $56,000 (£35,000).

Here's Pat introducing this and other cob homes he has built.
  Pat introduces CobWorks  



This beautiful cob home sits on the banks of a small stream in Somerset, England. Recently the little stream became a torrent that almost burst its bank, a close call for one of the most artistic natural homes in the world. It's the work of Lisa and Rich who built the house with clay from the stream and roundwood Pine and Hawthorne thinned from the local woodlands. The roof is tiled with cedar shingles and the walls are straw bale on the north and east with sculpted swirls of cob on the south and west. Here's how you making shingles.
  Making oak and cedar shingles  



These are some of the beautiful cob homes in Coquille, OR, USA, built at Cob Cottage Company by the many people who go there to learn how to build using natural materials. These little homes cost very little to build. Ianto and Linda, the founders of Cob Cottage, talk about their work in this video where you will find out just how cheap these natural homes can be.
  Ianto and Linda at Cob Cottage  



This is a cob and straw bale roundhouse by Earthed World. The roundhouse is an outdoor classroom at Arden Grove Infant School in Norwich, England. It's a starting point for the school to meet before exploring the outside environment. The roundhouse sits within a growing forest garden which lent itself to a theme of trees for some of the artistic features in the roundhouse.

Earthed World often incorporate unique round windows in their cob buildings, this one by Doug King-Smith.


This hotel is set in woodlands near Dnipropetrovs'k, Ukraine. The dome rooms were built using traditional Ukrainian building methods where a wooden framework is coated first with a mixture of clay and straw and then with clay mixed with sawdust. The roof is mainly 40cm of reed thatch. The building is by Yuri Ryntovt. Before designing this hotel Yuri built and lived in a cob ecoVillage, below, where he used similar but more organic shapes.




This is one of the loveliest natural homes on the planet. It's Ianto and Linda's cob home in Coquille, OR, USA at Cob Cottage Company. There are often opportunities to join Ianto and Linda at one of their many Cob Cottage workshops. Here's a video from Paul Wheaton.
  Ianto and Linda at Cob Cottage  

One of the best books you can buy on building with cob is by Ianto Evens




This is 'Little Cottage' sitting in the optimistic shade of a small wild apricot. It's one of the natural homes at Jill Hogan's Alternative Technology Centre in McGregor, South Africa about 130km west of Cape Town.

The roundwood sticking out of the cob walls is part of a simple cooling system to carry loose sticks in the summer to provide shade for the windows. The sticks also scatter the strong South African light adding one of the many patterns from 'A Pattern Language' that you'll find in this home.




This quaint cob cottage in Deddington, England cost almost nothing to build. It was built by Michael Buck almost exclusively from materials from his farm. The clay for the cob came from the site and the long straw for the thatch came from a few fields away. Poplars were planted by Michael eight years before they were felled for joists. Reclaimed floorboards and windows were donated by customers of his local vegetable box scheme. Water comes from an old well and a spring. Apart from some additional straw and thatching pins it cost nothing to build and used no power tools in its construction. The little cottage is used by Michael and seasonal farm workers.



This is the cob meditation sanctuary at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, Canada. The building has a very nice ‘Entrance Transition’. That's the gradual movement from the public space to the private space of the building. It is illustrated on our Facebook page here by pattern No.112 of A Pattern Language.

You can get a better idea of the space, light and design of the building and a little insight in to how it's used in this video.
  The Beautiful cob meditation sanctuary at Hollyhock