Monday, August 3, 2015

Could this be the biggest piece of pottery in the world?

This is Casa Terracotta, a house in Colombia made entirely from baked earth. Locals, however, refer to it as Casa de Flintstones because, well, it looks like Fred and Wilma's humble abode.

Some say it is the world's largest piece of pottery. The 5,400-square-foot mud house contains no cement or steel, and was built exclusively by hand. It has been a 14-year project for Octavio Mendoza, whose goal is to inspire people to build habitable architecture by simply using soil and other natural elements.

Mendoza describes the origin of the project on his website:

"Since I was a young boy I saw how artisans, architects and craftsmen transformed soil into various construction systems. Some of these were what we know as tapia pisada, adobe, bahareque, or simple soil blocks. Years after, once I had already graduated from my architectural studies at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, I noticed how our cities and their buildings are usually made of millions of cooked bricks; all which constantly trigger consumption habits at very high rates as well as unconscious procedures that harm the planet. Even worse, I became aware of how that material’s shape and properties limits the way constructions are designed built and inhabited.
Several years of reflecting on this phenomenon made me conclude, then, that there must be other ways of relating with spaces and the materials they are made of. That is how I determined to make a shift in the way I used all the techniques I had learned about; and in such shift I decided to use natural soil as my main material. This way I would create versatile works of art meant for our protection, rest and/or recreation.
Later on the idea condensed itself into the concept of inhabiting one single giant brick; where everything we need for living (both structure and main objects) can be produced at a low cost rate."

Inside you can find some sculptures, furniture, and bathroom and kitchen utensils. Visitors can check out the place and its magnificent view of the mountains for as little as $3.50.

[Image credits: Rita Willaert via flickr]

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