Natural Building Styles and Techniques around the World, No.3

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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.

Stone cottages,  Robin Hood's Bay, England

Stone cottages, England

This is Sunny Place in the small costal community of Robin Hood's Bay, England.

An Inuit igloo in Canada

Inuit igloo, Canada

There's something magical about an igloo lit with candles. Even more so if the sky dances with the colours of the aurora borealis.

Straw bale vineyard, USA

Straw bale winery, USA

The building is the straw bale tasting room at Black Ankle Vineyard in Mount Airy, Maryland, USA.

Green oak home, England

Oak framed house, England

This is a traditionally pegged green oak framed home built by Steve Gumble of Harts of Oak in England.

900 years of natural building

900 years of natural building

Between them these homes are built with stone, lime, clay, bamboo, wood, bark, straw, heather, rice starch, cow dung and reed.

An Estonian rocket Stove

Rocket mass stove, Estonia

You can feed a rocket stove by placing a long log in the fire box that sticks out the top while it burns at one end in the fire box.

Turf roofed farmhouse, Faroe Islands

Turf roofed farmhouse, Faroe Islands

900 years old and still lived in to this day. It was used as the bishop's residence back to the 12th century.

An oak Viking Farmsead, Ale, Sweden

Viking farmstead, Sweden

This oak home is based on Viking evidence from a wealthy farmer's home.

Borgund stave church, Norway

800 year old church, Norway

This is one of Norway's stave churches. Stave churches are typically some 8m (26ft) tall made entirely from wood without a single nail.

Treehouses around the World

Treehouses of  the world

One thing we all seem to have in common is we all love treehouses.

A cob cottage in Canada

Cob house, Canada

This home was the first fully permitted cob house in Canada.

A cob oven in Portugal

Cob oven, Portugal

The festival has won several awards for using natural building and permaculture principals.

Phragmite reed

Phragmite reed thatching

This is Phragmite reed, a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world.

Handmade window in cob house, England

Cob house, England

This cob home is the work of Lisa and Rich who built it with clay from the stream that runs just in front of this amazing window.

Celtic Roundhouse, Wales

Celtic roundhouse, Wales

In keeping with Welsh Celtic style the roundhouse is decorated at its entrance by Celtic knotwork.

Cave homes, Turkey

Cave homes, Turkey

Ortahisar is one of the many villages that occupy this labyrinth of caves where thick walls keep the homes cool in the 40C summers.


Cob oven, Croatia

A double chamber cob oven gives a cleaner burn than a standard cob oven.

Treehouse, France

Treehouse, France

The same structure could be built with a bamboo or willow. It was built by Jean-Yves Behoteguy, a French 'sculpteur sur bois' (sculptor of wood).

The caves of Guyaju, China

Cave homes, China

The homes, some with stylish pillars of stone, are arranged in two village clusters supplied with fresh water from a natural spring.

Straw Bale House, Wales

Straw bale house, Wales

The structure of the house comes from the interlaced bales pinned with hazel rods and plastered with lime.

The Perrier at The Tower of London

An oak perrier, England

This is a perrier, not the bottled water but rather a 13th century oak siege machine at the Tower of London, England.

Storybook Architecture, Canada

Storybook architecture, Canada

On Canada's Vancouver Island you will find a beautiful example of storybook architecture.

Celtic Roundhouse, Wales

Thatched stone roundhouse, Wales

This beautiful stone thatched roundhouse is the storytelling room at Cae Mabon.

Cave Home, Turkey

Cave living, Cappadocia, Turkey

The walls are very thick and keep the house cool in summer, while the temperature outside is more that 40C.

Tiny Cob Cottage, Finland

Earthbag, cob and straw bale cottage, Finland

Natural building techniques include a rubble trench, earthbag stem walls dressed in stone, birch bark damp-proof membrane beneath the straw bales.

Straw Bale Cottage, USA

Straw bale cottage in West Virginia, USA

The cottage has a rubble trench foundation with exterior straw bale walls plastered with lime outside and clay inside.

Gurunsi House, Burkina Faso

Earthen homes Tiebele, Burkina Faso

These are the earthen homes of the Gurunsi in Burkina Faso. The men build the house and the women decorate the facades.

Composting Toilet, Wales

Cob house, waterless composting toilet, Wales

The building is cob, that's a mixture of clay, sand and straw, on a slate stem wall with reeds collected from the nearby estuary for the thatched roof.

Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to cradle living, Netherlands

The hamlet of willow sculptures is a lesson in cradle to cradle living where children write messages about their wishes for nature.

Rocket Mass Heater, Estonia

Rocket Mass Heater in Estonia

Rocket stoves have very efficient combustion, where the furnace temperature ranges from about 1000C up to 1100C.

Khasi Living Bridges, India

Khasi Living Bridges of Meghalaya, India.

This living bridge takes generations of the Khasi people to create and will serve them for some 500 years.

The Basotho Hut

Basotho homes in Lesotho, South Africa

The Basotho hut is slowly, but surely, being nudged out of the Lesotho landscape in South Africa by modern construction.


The Gibbon Experience, Laos

Local people built treehouses and a network of zip lines through the canopy of Bokeo Nature Reserve to provide accommodation in the treetops to study the wildlife.