Hobbit Homes around the World
The love-shack of Brice Mathey made by cob and bamboo. Learn how to design this small and beautiful house.
Adobe is one of the oldest building materials in use. It is basically just dirt that has been moistened with water, sometimes with chopped straw or other fibers added for strength, and then allowed to dry in the desired shape. Commonly adobe is shaped into uniform blocks that can be stacked like bricks to form walls, but it can also be simply piled up over time to create a structure. Too much clay will shrink and crack excessively; too little will allow fragmentation. Sometimes adobe is stabilized with a small amount of cement or asphalt emulsion added to keep it intact where it will be subject to excessive weather. Adobe blocks can be formed either by pouring it into molds and allowing it to dry or it can pressed into blocks with a hydraulic or leverage press. Adobe can also be used for floors that have resilience and beauty, colored with a thin slip of clay and polished with natural oil.
Adobe is a good thermal mass material, holding heat and cool well.
Here’s a pictorial essay of how we are building the Hobbit House and training the villagers and other participants.