ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure: earthen school in pakistan
ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure: earthen school in pakistan ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure: earthen school in pakistan
nov 29, 2011

ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure: earthen school in pakistan

‘tipu sultan merkez’ by ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure, jar maulwi, pakistan all images © holcim foundation

‘tipu sultan merkez’ earthen school in jar maulwi, pakistan by berlin-based architectural and engineering practice ziegert roswag seiler architekten ingenieure has received this year’s holcim award for sustainable construction within the asia-pacific region. the first level of of the two-story building is constructed with cob walls comprised of locally sourced clay, sand, straw, water and earth. resting upon brick foundations, the interior spaces are protected from moisture penetrating from the ground or rainwater. the upper floor is a bamboo framework filled with an earthen mixture.

the combined result of the structure absorbs humidity and the mass of the thick 60 centimeter bearing walls reduces the temperature of interior spaces by 8 degrees celsius during the 40 degree summer heat. local residents were able to build their new community facility by implementing appropriate construction technologies and skills which were already present within the village.

existing school

mock up of ceiling system at full scale

mock up of ceiling system at full scale

structural binding detail

structural binding detail

raw construction materials for cob walls




production of cob walls

built from nature and returned to nature diagram

context plan

site plan

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1

section + materials

climate adapted design diagram

earthen building diagram

concrete building diagram



construction process

construction process

construction process

construction process

construction process

  • This is beautiful. Inspiring.

    Studge says:
  • This article makes me feel so good to be alive, that there are other solutions available, and without red tape destroying all creative solution, man can make suitable building that are appropriate to the conditions, inexpensive, fit and LIFE affirming. Love It.

    Moggs says:
  • exactly the right solution. If only western aid agencies got up to speed on local materials and local skills and technologies, we would stop ending these silly boxes and cabins that we design with mass-production factories in mind.

    mackenzie collins says:
  • Brilliant idea: back to the past – comfortable, durable, weather friendly, cheap – and charming! Wish more people did it…

    Vania/Brazil says:
  • Not being an architect, a lot of the diagrams were unclear. Too bad. I did understand a number of concepts (air flow particularly), but wonder what finally went on the very top of the mud on the roof ?? Also, what did they use to keep moisture out . . . tar ?? And, why aren’t we using these concepts in US more (in arid areas like SW)?

    savannahjones says:
  • Really thank you for this fantastic info, i am in spain a teacher who is involved in a susteinable project of an “agora” on the patio of a school, and we are searching for experinces like yours, relativ easy to build but completely efficient. I have some questions about the project, for example how is the last layer of the walls made, is it waterproff??, again, thank you for your contribution, Elena Lorente

    Elena Lorente says:

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