Mud Village for Handicraft Men
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Concept of shifting to mud architecture is creating waves in Pakistan. It is heartening to know that a lot is happening to convert this concept in to a reality in the form of proposed Mud Village, Peerzada Festival Area, Lahore.
Mud is an excellent construction material. It is being used as a building material since prehistoric times. Mud structures can still be found in a variety of climates across the globe; In Pakistan, it is most strongly associated with rural culture. The idea of mud building is now coming to urban areas. Construction of model mud village in Lahore is the case in point.
Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture (SPARC), registered in Lahore since 1994, is starting construction of mud village for handicraft men. Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch (Senior Expert Service Bonn, Germany) is planning to coordinating the project and giving it a practical shape.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch is an experienced architect by profession is very passionate about mud architecture. Since completing first building project as an architect at the age of 18, Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch has been in various activities as an architect and civil engineer all his life.
In addition, Iqbal, a local builder from Harrapa, Ghayyoor Obaid, a famous architect, Peerzada Festival Area, a concern that is providing space for construction of mud village near world famous Puppetry Museum are also involved in the project. Beacon House University, Department of Architecture and Building Research Institute are also likely to participate.
It is not good enough to assume that “everything from the past is good. It is necessary to show,” says Dr. Norbert Pintsch who is very passionate about the project. Like national University in Colombia where students practice construction with local materials like bamboo and wood, the project will give an opportunity to the students of Beacon House University to practice what they have been learning while adapting the construction technique mixed with appropriate technology in Pakistan.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch never gets tired of talking about his passion and, given my own interest, I don’t get tired of listening about the details of the project. Please stay tuned and I will endeavor to bring every detail as the project unfolds.
Owners of a number of mud houses in a village have joined hands in a conservation project for the purpose of promoting the traditional culture.
The program consists of part funding of conservation costs and it is accompanied by an observation program, in which physical measurements are carried out. The amount of support is disbursed at the end of the conservation work.
Since year 2000, the village has already been participating in a project called "Preservation of Cultural Heritage", in which SPARC has been giving away prizes for:
- the best mud-house,
- the best detail and
- the best brick-work.
SPARC decided last year to initiate an annual conservation program for selected objects as a reminder for the advantages of mud-construction and implementation for the public good.
Labels: MORA Project
Sustainable Mud Structures
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Mud buildings have withstood the test of time; will they populate our futures too?
Think of Islamic mud structures and more than likely the iconic Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali will come to mind. The largest mud brick building in the world, the mosque is considered to be amongst the greatest achievement of Sudano-Swahelian architecture and one of the most famous landmarks of Africa.
But it’s not only Africa that boasts impressive (and sustainable) mud structures, the Middle East is home to some of the most stunning mud buildings in the world. From the ‘Manhattan of the Desert’ in Yemen to the Bam citadel of Iran, these mud structures show that there’s more to Muslim architecture than Mecca and Masdar.Read more »
Labels: Mud Architecture
Cooperation in Mud Housing Project
Monday, January 17, 2011
The Mud Housing Project is being currently implemented by SPARC in Lahore.
SPARC had taken up the initiative years ago in order to remind of the importance of mud as construction material and to sensitize the general public in this respect.
Mud is not a construction material of the past; that steel concrete and bricks have pushed back such good construction material is a story in itself. Considering the enormous costs of cooling and heating the current form of buildings, it becomes quite clear that mud is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and biologically far superior.
In order to realize the initiative, SPARC was successful in arranging foreign support as well as a local architect, who is working since the year 2000 in south western Punjab, and together with DGFK, it has been giving prizes under the Preservation of Cultural Heritage program: for the best maintained Mud House, Brick House and the most interesting Design.
Now in the realization phase of the initiative, it was important to gather financial and organizational support as well as participants open to new ideas, which was made easier through the provision of land by the Peerzada Group on their Cultural Complex. The planned rooms are to be used by the handicraft workers as sleeping quarters in the night while they work in Workshops during the day.
Example of appropriate technology (solar cooker i.e.) will also be available for demonstration purpose and in order to be independent of the public technical infrastructure.
This combination was also greeted by the universities PU, COMSATS, BNU, who find it useful for involvement of students in practical projects: construction physical measurements are part of the MHP as also experiments with materials.
Generally speaking, the MHP comes at a time of extreme flooding misery around the river Indus and therefore unintended becomes current in its own right. There are however no demonstrated examples of the concept, which can contribute to experience and which can be adjusted for example for usage in the crisis regions.
The initiative described above is small, but it has a large potential: Help at the Indus is of course a priority, but the construction methods in the urban areas are to be examined closely in terms of energy consumption. Mud housing is normally ground floor construction, but there are also interesting mud house examples in double storey construction.
A project of experimental construction is therefore required for a more exact evaluation and experimentation of this and other aspects of mud housing.