Natural Building Styles and Techniques around the World, No.1

 

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This is a collection of shortcuts to pictures of natural homes from all over the world. Click on any of the pictures below to visit the page, read more about the house, follow links to builder's or owner's websites and, if you are a Pinterest user, add the picture to your collections in Pinterest. When you visit the page you may also see some of the following icons:

 

You'll find an explanation for each on the about pages.

If you would like to learn how to build homes like these we have a list of Natural Building Workshops. If you would like to read in more detail about some of the natural homes and natural builders then we have a growing collection of articles about Natural Building. Select 'styles' from the menu above for different styles of natural buildings like straw bale and cob homes.

 
   
Log house, Canada

Settlers cabin in Kitchener, Canada

The natural plaster work over the wooden laths inside the cabin was done beautifully and in keeping with all natural homes by Ben at The Lime Plaster Co.

 
Tiny Swedish woodland house

A tiny house inspired by Saami Torvkata and Yurts

Taking inspiration from Saami (native Scandinavians) torvkata (turf hut) and yurts, Daniel cut a 3m x 3m hole into a sunny hillside 1.5m deep.

 
Celtic Roundhouse, Wales

The Roundhouse at Felin Uchaf, Wales

You are only seeing the roof of an underground roundhouse which is impressively illuminated with a strong shaft of light.

 
   
Matmata cave living room

The cave homes of Matmata, Tunisia

The homes are built by digging down to form a large courtyard and then excavating into the walls to form caves.

 
Cob roundhouse, Wales

The Cob Herb Roundhouse at Felin Uchaf, Wales

The stem wall of the roundhouse is made from local slate. The cob walls are lime plastered topped with a turf reciprocal roof and decorative slated eaves.

 
Mud and Stud home, England

Mud and Stud House

Mud and stud is similar to 'wattle and daub' but the mud is supported by vertical riven lathes nailed to horizontal rails between the posts of an elm frame.

 
   
A strawbale home tour, Australia

14 Golden Rules of Straw Bale Building

This is a video tour of Susan and John Glassford's home in Australia.

 
Straw bale house, Wales

Straw bale house, Wales

This is Simon Dale's new home in Lammas ecoVillage. It cost about $6,000 to build, maybe a bit less.

 
Straw bale off-grid house, Canada

Straw bale house, Canada

Chris built the straw bale house in 2004 using earthen plasters and all local materials. It's an off-grid home without a straight wall in the house.

 
   
Natural materials in the bathroom

Natural Bathroom, Czech

Max has used natural clay, roundwood, stone and mosaics to bring a stunning mixture of textures, patterns, colour, warmth and light into the room.

 
Natural builders, USA

Women Natural Builders

These are women building the Earth Sanctuary, part of Kleiwerks which helps women to learn natural building skills to build sustainable communities.

 
Sgraffito tile using lime and natural pigments

Lime Sgraffito Tile

Raquel Rodriguez uses clay tiles as a base to which she adds lime putty mixed with sand to form a base coat which dries for 5 days.

 
   
Clay plasters in a slip-straw timber house, USA

12" slip-straw in a traditional timber frame

The natural colours and textures of clay with wood make for a beautiful simplicity. This is the work of Sarah Highland.

 
A green oak timberframs house, Devon, England

Oak frame house, Devon

This beautiful home in Devon, England called Seagull House, was traditionally framed in oak. It was converted from a barn.

 
Cob roundhouse, USA

Straw bale roundhouse, USA

The clay plastering and earthen floor was done by Anna Wolfson and the thatched roof is by William Cahill.

 
   
Cob garden room, Canada

Cob roundhouse, Canada

This is the garden room at O.U.R ecoVillage. Part of the charm in this room comes from the nasturtium flowers filtering the light [pattern No. 238, ‘Filtered Light’].

 
Weavers cottages, Bibury, England

14th century stone cottages, England

William Morris called Bibury in Gloucestershire, "The most beautiful village in England".

 
The cave homes of Matmata, Tunisia

Cave homes, Tunisia

The homes are grouped around a central courtyard and connected to other courtyards with more rooms forming an underground maze.

 
   
A cob cottage in Oregon, USA

Cob cottage, USA

This is an inside out view of Ianto and Linda's living room which, incidentally demonstrates beautifully pattern No.180, a low sill window space.

 
Landscape Art by Andy Goldsworthy

Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

An English landscape artist that only uses natural materials.

 
A wobbly dry stone wall, Canada

Dry stone wall, Canada

This wobbly wall is winding its way across Ontario, Canada. It was built by Dean McLellan with John Rimmington near Coburg Ontario.

 
   
Italy's first Straw Bale Home

Straw bale house, Italy

This was the first straw bale house built in Italy. It's a timber frame infill with clay plasters on the inside and lime plaster on the exterior and earthen floors.

 
Cob niche in a home in Denmark

Niche in a cob house, Denmark

This is the work of Flemming Abrahamsson in his home in Denmark.

 
Interior view of an Iclandic 18th century fishing station

Stone and turf, Iceland

This is one of Iceland's 18th century fishing stations.

 
   
A straw bale, cob and earthbag cottage in Finland

Earthbag, cob and straw bale house, Finland

The roof of this tiny cottage in Finland is made from a ring of roundwood timbers interlocking and supporting one another.

 
Straw bale house in Denmark

Straw bale house, Denmark

Poula-Line built her straw bale home in Fri & Fro (Free and Happy) ecoVillage in Egebjerg, Denmark.

 
A cob cottage that cost nothing to build

Cob house, England

This cob cottage in Deddington, England cost almost nothing to build. It was built by Michael Buck almost exclusively from materials from his farm.

 
   
A tiny woodland straw bale house

A woodland straw bale house, Wales

Part of the inspiration for Simon's home was his neighbour Tony Wrench who pioneered the reciprocal roof.

 
Clay wall sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

Clay pargeting by Andy Goldsworthy

This design in clay is in a refuge near Digne-les-Bains in the South of France.

 
Cosy and warm in Rachel's straw bale home

Straw bale house, Wales

Rachel built this beautiful straw bale home almost exclusively with women. It stands on a hill up a narrow path above the 12th century St Dogmaels Abbey in Wales.

 
   
Tiny cob house in Deddington, England

Tiny cob house, England

Something magical happens when sunlight dances of the surface of water making patterns on the wall.

 
A Tiny Thatched Cottage at Spindle Cottage, England

Child's timber frame playhouse, England

It's one of the many tiny garden homes hand crafted by Alban Bunting for his Grandchildren.

 
A natural building video by Cobworks

Natural building, Mexico

Cob is a mixture of clay, sand and straw used for building beautiful homes.

 
   
A Cob Cottage in Canada

Cob cottage, Canada

This is an inside out view of Kate's 1,200 sq.ft (111 m2) cob house on Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada.

 
load bearing two storey straw bale barn, England

Straw bale barn, England

It's a two storey load bearing straw bale barn. The ground and first floor are for bird-watching and the roof space for barn owls.

 
500 year old English oak roof

Oak framed roof, England

You are looking at oak timbers as they were built over 500 years ago.

 
   
Earthbag dome in Australia

Earthbag dome, Australia

apprenticeship A naturally built dome's roof is especially difficult to protect from rain.

 
A Sami Turf Hut, Sweden

Sami turf house, Sweden

This is a traditional summer turf home for the Sami people of the northern Scandinavian countries.

 
The half-timbered medieval homes of Dinan, France

Half-timbered medieval homes, France

The lane is lined with stone and half-timbered 14th to 16th century homes.

 
   
The adobe and stone Igherm of Morocco

Adobe brick and stone Igherm of Morocco

This one, some 400 years old, had fallen in to disrepair like many others in the region.

 
A cob house by natural building company Cob Cottage

Cob cottage, USA

Cob is a mixture of clay, sand and straw that allows you to sculpt beautifully shaped homes like this one in Oregon, USA.

 
Thatched roundhouse at Cae Mabon, Wales

Thatched roundhouse, Wales

This stone walled thatched roundhouse is the storytelling room and centrepiece at Cae Mabon which was created over the last twenty.

 
   
A cob cottage in Somerset, England

Tiny cob house, England

Lisa and Rich built the house with clay from the stream and roundwood Pine and Hawthorne thinned from the local woodlands.

 
Glade Creek Grist Mill, USA

Timber grist mill, USA

At the turn of the 20th century more than 500 grist mills were in operation in West Virginia, USA.

 
Nenet Choom, Russia.

Nenet Choom, Russia

The choom, home to the nomadic Nenet, uses reindeer hides wrapped around wooden poles.

 
   
Thatched Straw Bale Studio in Oxford, MI, USA.

Straw bale house, USA

The straw bale home has a phragmite reed thatched roof, earthen plasters with natural paints and uses solar electricity.

 
Straw bale, cob and earthbag home in Finland

The door to a Finnish natural home

This door was designed and made by artist Heidi to welcome people to her straw bale, cob and earthbag cottage in Finland.

 
Jaime Filipe, Portuguese Land Artist

Stone arch landscape art, Portugal

This arch is on  the edge of a river that winds its way through the Parque Paleozoico de Valongo.