Mountain View Residence
       
     
 The twelve foot high living and dining room connects the two-story bedroom wing with the single story kitchen, flooding the house with light and solar energy. Carefully place operable windows provide for cross ventilation. Radiant heat in the slab floors provide winter heat to supplement the passive gain.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     
 Soil on site was a heavy, gray clay which we deemed unsuitable as a component in the mix design. Luckily, a basement excavation a few miles away supplied us with an ochre-tinged clay loam that provided a rich base to the formulation - 40% imported soil mixed with 60% coarse sand.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     
 Stratification is pronounced with heavier soils and 8 inch lifts. The bottom of each lift remains slightly under-compacted, revealing the small gravel in the sand, absorbing light. The top of each lift becomes very dense, reflecting light. Hence the appearance of two-colors in the mix.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     
 Control over the appearance of stratification is a factor of mix design, lift depth and compaction techniques. Control over the horizontality of each lift is a factor of careful material delivery.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     
 The Mountain View residence saw the first use of the new  Watershed Block , here used as a veneer over the frame walls of the projecting bathroom wings.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     
Mountain View Residence
       
     
Mountain View Residence

Residence in Mountain View, California, designed by Juliet Hsu and built by Rammed Earth Works. Borrowing from the Eichlers, this project on a small lot in old town Mountain View is actually the third iteration of a concept exploring the efficiency of repeating earth volumes connected by transparent spaces.

Three repeating and identical rectangles of 18” rammed earth, each 24’ x 20’, enclose the kitchen and the bedrooms. Identical is the operative word here, because reusing the formwork without modification saves time and money.

Image © Mark Luthringer

 The twelve foot high living and dining room connects the two-story bedroom wing with the single story kitchen, flooding the house with light and solar energy. Carefully place operable windows provide for cross ventilation. Radiant heat in the slab floors provide winter heat to supplement the passive gain.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     

The twelve foot high living and dining room connects the two-story bedroom wing with the single story kitchen, flooding the house with light and solar energy. Carefully place operable windows provide for cross ventilation. Radiant heat in the slab floors provide winter heat to supplement the passive gain.

Image © Mark Luthringer

 Soil on site was a heavy, gray clay which we deemed unsuitable as a component in the mix design. Luckily, a basement excavation a few miles away supplied us with an ochre-tinged clay loam that provided a rich base to the formulation - 40% imported soil mixed with 60% coarse sand.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     

Soil on site was a heavy, gray clay which we deemed unsuitable as a component in the mix design. Luckily, a basement excavation a few miles away supplied us with an ochre-tinged clay loam that provided a rich base to the formulation - 40% imported soil mixed with 60% coarse sand.

Image © Mark Luthringer

 Stratification is pronounced with heavier soils and 8 inch lifts. The bottom of each lift remains slightly under-compacted, revealing the small gravel in the sand, absorbing light. The top of each lift becomes very dense, reflecting light. Hence the appearance of two-colors in the mix.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     

Stratification is pronounced with heavier soils and 8 inch lifts. The bottom of each lift remains slightly under-compacted, revealing the small gravel in the sand, absorbing light. The top of each lift becomes very dense, reflecting light. Hence the appearance of two-colors in the mix.

Image © Mark Luthringer

 Control over the appearance of stratification is a factor of mix design, lift depth and compaction techniques. Control over the horizontality of each lift is a factor of careful material delivery.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     

Control over the appearance of stratification is a factor of mix design, lift depth and compaction techniques. Control over the horizontality of each lift is a factor of careful material delivery.

Image © Mark Luthringer

 The Mountain View residence saw the first use of the new  Watershed Block , here used as a veneer over the frame walls of the projecting bathroom wings.   Image © Mark Luthringer
       
     

The Mountain View residence saw the first use of the new Watershed Block, here used as a veneer over the frame walls of the projecting bathroom wings.

Image © Mark Luthringer