MUD HOUSEWORKS

Mud and landslides caused by flooding and storms have become everyday phenomena in our country.

Mud is a good material to recycle. Mud can be used, for example, to develop an electrical system. Marieke Staps, a Dutch designer, has created the Soi Lamp, which actually uses mud to operate.

However, it is also possible to use purified mud as a fertiliser, by installing mud purification and drying systems at home. 

The Mud House consists of a large platform, which folds like a piece of kirigami. The vertical side is set against the mountain, whereas the horizontal side becomes a terrace, below which a series of systems to recover the mud collected during the rainfall can be installed. The vertical level is very tough and consists of a container wall in reinforced cement mixed with furnace waste, whereas the horizontal platform contains the house on two levels and a large swimming pool to collect the mud.

The kirigami fold provides a place to insert a large glass window with one vertical and one horizontal side, through which you can see the mud sliding down the mountain and penetrating beneath the platform. The reinforced glass window is extremely tough and is actually used to withstand hurricanes in the USA. 

As a preventive measure, the rocky wall is made safe by injecting cement and placing a highly resistant metal grid on top. The mud from the rock wall goes under the house via a drainage grid going along the entire structure and flows inside a large tank where it is recycled. There is a purification system and a drying system. Once dried, the mud is ready to be reused.

After having been drained and purified, other mud from the rock wall flows into the swimming pool, in which it is possible to take mud baths or swim in its bed. The mud unites the welcoming qualities of the earth with those of movement and dynamics of the water. This creates a primordial element, containing the substance and movement, which are the origin of life.  Mud is the primitive magma, from which everything was shaped. To construct below a rock wall is a common tradition in our country, especially in central Italy. If you travel along the main mountain roads, it is easy to see houses built surprisingly close to natural vertical walls. To use a material from a natural catastrophe is a resilient way of exploiting an extreme phenomenon. As we have already said, the house is on two levels. The ground floor has a kitchen, bathroom and living room. Stairs take you to the second level with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The large glass wall and transparent floor on the first level enable the extreme natural phenomenon to be admired from the protection of the domestic space.

Year: 2013

Architect: Anna Rita Emili

Collaborator: Bence Vagi

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