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Martin Rauch refined earth construction & design with rammed earth Otto Kapfinger, Marko Sauer (eds.)

Use the Earth! – Otto Kapfinger


Photo Series – Projects


Rammed Earth Flooring


The Rammed Earth Wall


An Aperture in the Wall


Slab and Roof






Knowledge Transfer


Building Regulations


Photo Series – Team


List of Works








Use the Earth! The Life and Work of Martin Rauch Otto Kapfinger This publication tells the success story of an unorthodox thinker whose – quite literally – down-to-earth approach led him to develop an eco-social stance shaped by genuine personal experience. Initially positioning himself as an “interesting” local outsider, he has gradually become a globally respected authority on ecologically advanced architecture whose ideas are much in demand. Martin Rauch presents three decades’ worth of regional – and increasingly international – achievements in this book. His approach to basic research has been conducted bottom-up, in every sense of the word. Employing continually enhanced applications tested across varied scales, this approach has led to the creation of a fund of knowledge that has now been made available to a broad audience, along with detailed plans and explanations. This publication is not merely a platform for Rauch to present a body of work that he was able to achieve in collaboration with such well-known designers as Roger Boltshauser, Olafur Eliasson, Herzog & de Meuron, Miller & Maranta, Hermann Kaufmann, Marte.Marte, Snøhetta, Matteo Thun, and Günther Vogt. “Refined Earth” is nothing less than a globally relevant educational compendium for contemporary planning and building with earthen materials.

Rauch did not discover earth building through architecture but rather

through his training and work in the late 1970s as a ceramicist, kiln builder, and sculptor. His penchant for applied craftsmanship, as well as for artistic autonomy in designing environments and ways of living characterized by an extreme economy of resources, was determined by his upbringing in the unpretentious, rural setting of Austria’s Vorarlberg region. He was also greatly affected by foreign influences: like some of his older siblings, he volunteered for a development organization in Africa for several months in 1980. This encounter with “primitive” cultural and building technologies, whose efficacy was evident in close-knit life cycles making optimal use of resources, was accompanied by an awareness of their brutal substitution with imported technologies from industrialized economies that were climatically and ecologically inferior, non-recyclable, and difficult to repair. In Africa, his artistic intuition took on a global perspective: his subjective urge to work with these “poor” artistic ur-materials found an objective, comprehensive context within which to operate. Rauch’s artisanal interest in working with clay grew into a desire to architecturally design with earth, with all its challenges and requirements. The moulding of tiles and kilns turned into a process of shaping and constructing on a large scale: transforming the earth into useful and habitable spaces. He submitted his thesis project in 1983 to Matteo Thun, director of the ceramics programme at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Entitled “Lehm Ton Erde” (Loam Clay Earth), it described the modernization of rammed earth techniques as a form of autochthonous cultural technology, be it in Africa or Europe.


Since that time, Rauch has followed a vision with universal significance that can be expressed in just a few sentences: _Building in such a way that a house can return to “nature” after a hundred years – without leaving behind any residues or contamination – and break down into its original material constituents _Building in harmony with natural life cycles and using the absolute minimum of grey energy in constructing, maintaining and dismantling architectures _Building with locally available and no-cost materials – using earth taken from the construction site that is as pure and pristine as possible _Advancing the idea of building with earth so that it is technically and logistically up to date, in the process empowering the majority of the world’s population to turn to this technique and use it to significantly improve their living conditions He has always had a particular interest in rammed earth techniques, a process by which the material is not clad with further materials or surface finishes. Once fabricated, non-plastered pisé façades express their character directly, a phenomenon that Rauch encountered in the vernacular, well-preserved outbuildings dating from the nineteenth century that he came across in France and Germany. The layered construction of the wall simultaneously weaves the ornament of its own appearance. The pure structure, colour, and haptic qualities of the material are preserved and heightened during the process of moulding and compacting. With a ceramicist’s sensitivity to the composition and physical-chemical conditions and effects of his material, Rauch set about rearticulating the language of pisé, adapting it to meet contemporary standards and once again exposing the full sensory potential of earthen building material, with technical advances and enhancements going hand in hand with formal complexity. He was thus able to avoid, for example, the need to compensate for certain deficiencies in traditional pisé techniques by adding cement, as this would diminish some of the essential qualities of earth building, such as its ease of recyclability, its breathability, or its minimal entropy. Instead, he sought to improve natural material mixtures, optimized the compaction process and the shape of the formwork, and introduced layers of reinforcement to systematically develop traditional techniques without abandoning their basic structural principles. Tools, procedures, and types of formwork were developed from scratch and then evaluated and refined; test walls were constructed and the practical experience gathered in the process was immediately fed into the next series of experiments.

Rauch made his first forays into building in 1982, in the form of small

projects for family members and friends who were open to experimentation, collaborating with local architects such as Robert Felber and Rudolf Wäger. The house in Schlins constructed for his elder brother Johannes – a farmer, master locksmith, and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, who had been involved for many years in development projects in Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania – was the very first modern timber-and-earth construction in the Vorarlberg region. The Chapel of Reconciliation in Berlin-Mitte represents a clear turning point in his practice. In accordance with plans drawn up by the


2011_ Single-Family House B.-S., Flims

2009 – 2010_ Sil Plaz Cinema, Ilanz/Glion

2009 – 2010_ Sil Plaz Cinema, Ilanz/Glion

Civilization is the sustainable shaping of the earth into a figure that serves mankind. Otto Kapfinger


Rammed Earth Flooring Earthen floors have existed for as long as humans have been building. No other material bears such a direct relationship to the ground on which we walk and stand. A floor composed of rammed earth is natural, simple, and, as such, commonly found in cultures all around the world. With the most elementary means, a space can be created from a clod of earth: a place to live in, set apart from nature. The floor of one’s home carries the living traces of its history. Smooth and responsive to the senses, rammed earth has a distinctly tactile quality. Its irregular surface is not only visually appealing but also acts as a sensual stimulus to the feet. Such floors, which require daily maintenance, can still be found in certain rural areas. Each evening, they are mopped with water to regenerate their sensitive surface. While this type of floor is too rustic for contemporary tastes, the proximity to the earth retains its appeal – it is simply too inconvenient for people used to higher levels of comfort.

To bring the earthen floor into the twenty-first century, it was neces-

sary to refine its conception. Its surface, in particular, has become easy to care for and extremely durable in modern implementations: a layer of customdesigned carnauba hard wax stabilizes the loam and infuses the floor with the necessary level of resilience. The process of construction has also been further developed. In traditional rammed earth flooring systems, only the lowest layers contain coarse gravel, with a finer-grained composite at the top. This creates a homogeneous finished surface, but it is susceptible to mechanical stresses and strains. By contrast, modern earthen floors are filled with the same gravel mixture until just below the surface, and the quality of the earth mixture is the same as would be used for rammed earth walls (see Material, p. 116). This increases the floor’s ability to withstand the tests of time and wear. However, these advances do not change the fact that constructing a rammed earth floor requires both mastery and experience of the techniques involved, since every step in the design process must take into account the unique conditions of the particular situation. One must know the material and have the skill to use it effectively to be capable of cultivating the full beauty and longevity of an earthen floor. Earth-based flooring is labour intensive. It will occupy a craftsman for three to four weeks, because the construction work progresses in a series of staggered steps that are individually tailored to the job. Compared to standard flooring systems, this means higher costs; small floor areas tend to be more expensive, since they still involve the same complex preparation and the work requires the same sequence of steps. However, the effort is reflected in the result: each rammed earth floor is one of a kind – with an outstanding degree of warmth and comfort.


Substrate Structure To construct a rammed earth floor, the substrate layer must be stable, pressure-resistant, and, most importantly, immovable, since it cannot cave in under the force of the vibrating plate compactor (see image on the previous page). With lightweight floor plate constructions and large spans, the vibration frequency and weight of the compactor must be taken into consideration. When in doubt, a structural engineer should be consulted regarding questionable spans – if necessary, the slab may need to be braced during the compacting process. Rammed earth floors can usually be installed directly on top of suitable footfall sound insulation, without an additional membrane or lining, since the crumbly, semi-dry loam material does not contribute to any significant extra moisture. In comparison, naturally moist rammed earth and wood both possess a relative humidity of approximately 18 per cent. The wax emulsion acts as a damp-proof membrane, slowing the process of water vapour exchange, and the carnauba wax brings this process almost to a halt.

If in-floor heating is incorporated into the construction, the heating con-

duits are typically embedded in a soft layer of mortar, made of half sand and half loam, immediately prior to installing the rammed earth floor. Through the compacting process, the pipes are pressed into the loam in order to improve heat transmission.

The floor can be insulated with a mixture of loam and crushed cork

material bonded with trass lime. This enhances the environmentally friendly properties of the loam, and the lime increases the compressive strength of the cork. As an alternative, a rammed earth floor can also be installed directly on The surface of a slurried floor is slightly

pressure-resistant fibreboard, cellular glass, or extruded polystyrene (XPS)

irregular and requires a higher tolerance

foam. The boards cannot have any cavities and should preferably be cemented

in terms of its overall flatness – however, the irregularities of the floor reflect its inherent haptic qualities. The ratio of

directly to the substrate layer, such that they are immovable, as described above.

visible stones to loam is approximately 1:4 (see illustration at top). A floor treated with the polishing process is more similar to terrazzo: the proportion of visible stones to loam is closer to 1:1 (see illustration at bottom).


Surface finish 0.1 cm

Standard installation without in-floor heating

Rammed earth floor 10 cm Footfall sound insulation 2 cm Wooden or concrete subfloor

Installation with in-floor heating Surface finish 0.1 cm Rammed earth floor 10 cm Clay mortar Heating pipe Foil 0.1 cm Footfall sound insulation 2 cm Wooden or concrete subfloor

Surface finish 0.1 cm Rammed earth floor 10 cm XPS insulation 12 cm Wooden or concrete subfloor

Installation on insulation boards


The quality of calculated erosion that is inherent to building with earth and represents one of its special qualities could also be termed “patinophilia”. Otto Kapfinger


The Rammed Earth Wall The characteristics of rammed earth are expressed most clearly in walls. Through the ramming and compacting of the material, an element is constructed that is capable of withstanding the influences of both time and weather. At the same time, this earth remains part of the natural cycle: if the wall is exposed to the elements, over the years rain will gradually wear away at the façade. Rammed earth will ultimately return without a trace to the soil from whence it came. Even an appropriately protected wall will eventually change: rain softens the surface, as the water washes away the finer clay granules. The colour of the wall will also alter with time, as loam is rinsed away and the stones begin to emerge. The integration of erosion checks made of trasslime or fired clay helps to control the loss of material.

The challenge in building an earthen wall lies in precisely foreseeing

this balance between ephemerality and permanence, and envisaging all the possible ramifications. And this also constitutes the special allure of earth construction. All these aspects are interrelated; for example, if the rammed earth were stabilized and not water soluble, it would be incapable of absorbing water vapour, which is the source of the pleasant indoor climate it can create. Without the rain eroding fine-grained material from the surface, the resulting patina, which gives the material its vibrant, tactile structure, would not exist. Over time, a balance between durability and transformation occurs naturally. While erosion never completely comes to a halt, the loam becomes harder and the stones in the eroded wall serve to stabilize it – as such, it is unnecessary to further weatherproof the façade with cement or other artificial aggregates. On the contrary, additives can significantly impede the positive natural qualities of earth – for example, its ability to be completely recycled (see section on Calculated Erosion, p. 70).

Nevertheless, there are several basic rules to follow with regard to

weatherproofing. The wall must be capped to protect it from standing water and seepage. Traditional buildings made of rammed earth cover the walls with a projecting roof. For constructions with a flat roof or with free-standing walls, coverings made of sheet metal or similar waterproof materials are appropriate. Since splash and rising damp also affect the wall, the plinths should be water resistant.

Constructing an in situ rammed earth wall requires a significant amount

of time, as the compaction process is labour intensive. In order to coordinate with the strict schedules of modern-day building sites – or if no other method is possible – large-scale earth construction projects are carried out with prefabricated elements. Construction cranes are used to install these rammed earth blocks; afterwards, the faces are grouted and the joints retouched. The horizontal striation of the earth and bands of trass-lime are meticulously finished off by hand until the visual appearance is homogeneous. Even if individual joints are still visible at first, the erosive effects of driving rain will soon create a uniform surface.


Multiple variations of horizontal patterning characterize a rammed earth wall. On the one hand, there are the vestiges of handcrafted production, expressed in individual layers, some 10 cm thick. This delineation is extremely subtle: loose material is deposited into the formwork and compressed to approximately half of the original depth with air rammers, vibrating plate compactors, or the rollers commonly used in civil engineering. The upper portion of each layer is more strongly compacted than its lower counterpart; this means that the lower segment of each course has a more porous appearance, while the upper segment has a more homogeneous and solid surface. This is the inherent rhythm of a rammed earth wall: an alternating pattern of layers of different thicknesses. It is the structure – as well as the ornamentation – that emerges from the process of production and this is the distinguishing feature of an earth wall. The sensory appearance of rammed earth is closely related to this effect.

Another beat in this rhythm comes in the form of the erosion checks,

which slow the flow of water across the surface of the wall. They are integrated at staggered heights approximately every 40 to 60 cm. If they consist of bands of tiles made from fired clay elements, they will protrude from the plane of the façade, their presence accentuated by the shadow they cast. These are influential in defining the final appearance of the wall, dividing it into separate horizontal stripes. There are a multitude of design possibilities for erosion checks: they can be composed of stones, of precisely formed bricks or tiles, or of fragmented materials. To create a lively pattern on the underside of the bricks, they can be scored longitudinally and broken in two. Alternatively, they can be completely handmade, as was the case for the Rauch House in Schlins (see images on p. 71). This creates a soft line that undulates along with the surface of the wall. Erosion checks made of trass-lime mortar have a far more subtle appearance, as they are integrated flush to the wall. Every four to six layers, a wedgeshaped strip on the exterior surface is included in the ramming course. The trass-lime is usually greyer than the earth and appears as a fine line that is Erosion check created by protruding ceramic tiles. An additional form board compensates for the overhang. Section of the formwork at 1:10 scale.





In order to control erosion, barriers are integrated to decrease the flow of water. The illustrations above show an erosion check made of trass-lime mortar in a progressive state of erosion. Section at 1:10 scale.

initially flush with the wall after the form boards have been removed. As the outermost layer of earth is gradually eroded by the rain, these bands begin to protrude somewhat from the wall. The earth directly below them is preserved, while the fine-grained loam above is washed off. A wall with erosion checks made from trass-lime mortar will change differently from one with protruding elements. Rammed trass-lime-based checks are more appropriate for prefabricated elements, because they are both easier to produce and less complicated to transport. Protruding erosion checks possess significant design and functional poten-



tial. These courses stand approximately 2 cm proud of the surface and must be compensated for by means of an insert of the same width fitted into the formwork.

The wall is first rammed up to the bottom edge of the erosion check.

Then the brick or stone layer is inserted and covered with clay mortar; this ensures the durability of the joint and helps distribute the load it must withstand during the ramming process. Afterwards, an additional board is screwed on to the inner edge of the formwork to compensate for the increased width, and the next layers of earth are rammed. There is still space to insert the erosion checks between the boards, sticking out from the actual width of the rammed earth wall. This technique involves simple, though slightly more elaborate, formwork, which is better suited for walls produced on-site. Selecting the type of erosion check has a strong influence on the character of the wall. This is not only true for its initial appearance; the technique used for this layer has a lasting influence on how the wall evolves over a period of years. Both approaches are possible with in situ construction as well as prefabrication – only limited by the fact that protruding erosion brakes present an increased challenge in prefabricated elements (see Prefabrication, p. 118).


The envelope that surrounds us should be able to breathe and diffuse in the same way as our bodies. Martin Rauch


An Aperture in the Wall A rammed earth building functions best when its surfaces are closed. Massive walls with a minimal number of openings that are as small as possible are best suited to both the nature of the material and the compressive forces that act upon it. The traditional language of earth buildings has therefore developed to take account of these properties: the walls are thick, openings are inserted sparingly – in this, rammed earth is similar to other forms of massive construction. In place of a single large window, there are multiple narrow windows, because the sections of wall in between the openings are better able to transfer the loads exerted on them. Each opening weakens the load-bearing capacity of rammed earth walls and is associated with extra planning and work and increased levels of unpredictability. Rammed earth buildings, with their simple details, have been following these principles for centuries.

The lintels in traditional earth buildings consist of timber beams

rammed into the wall itself. Loam, with an equilibrium moisture content of 6–7 per cent, is drier than wood (9 per cent). As such, wood is well preserved in earth constructions (see Materials, p. 116). Since most historical rammed earth buildings in Europe are covered in plaster, this structure is not visible. However, when rammed earth is exposed as a surface finish – which is typically the case nowadays due to its elegance and haptic appeal – the lintel detail becomes much more sophisticated. Such construction details require considerable experience in dealing with the behaviour of the material.

For smaller openings, it is the responsibility of the earth building expert

to implement the construction according to a recognized set of norms. An experienced technician can also assess the degree of reinforcement required. Here, the dimensioning of the reinforcement is based on the technician’s visual judgement; there are no building regulations or calculation criteria (see Building Regulations, p. 124). However, structural planning based on empirical data will not suffice for larger openings and the load-bearing behaviour of the lintel must be calculated. Horizontal supports made of reinforced trasslime mortar are then integrated into the construction.

The openings require a particularly high degree of planning and struc-

tural design work. Designing with rammed earth involves positioning the apertures intelligently and getting to grips with the material in the construction process. If the walls are closed, calculated erosion completes their surface finish (see Material, p. 116 and section on Calculated Erosion, p. 70). Each opening interrupts this process and creates disruption, while the earth is more liable to erosion on the drip edges on the underside of the lintels. This unintended and – if the building work is carried out incorrectly – potentially uncontrolled form of weathering can be prevented with the proper construction detailing.

Rammed earth buildings have altered their appearance: rather than

closed façades, today these buildings are also characterized by open floor plans with large, horizontal windows. But how can we design and build such openings with rammed earth? How can one do justice to this archaic, massive building material notwithstanding this modified architectural language? Or, to put it another way, how can rammed earth shed its traditional skin?


2012  –  2013_ Ricola Kräuterzentrum, Laufen



With concealed lintels, the suspended rammed earth is tied to the loadbearing beam of reinforced concrete or trass-lime with the bolts. If the construction is to have cladding on the interior, the support beam can be set on the inner edge of the rammed earth wall, as is the case with the large studio window in the Rauch House. As a result, the outward-facing layer of earth is thicker.

The lintel for the openings situated above the wide gates of the Kräuter-

zentrum in Laufen was fabricated with two thermally insulated steel girders. Since the façade here is composed of prefabricated elements, the beam was integrated during the ramming process rather than being installed on the building site. This type of construction can also be readily used for in situ wall construction. In either case, the steel lintel must be inserted in a slightly raised position. The load of the earth positioned on top of it will then press it down into its final position. In order to protect the edge of the rammed earth wall, the lower flange of the girder is fitted with an angled profile, which provides a precise edge for the lintel and precludes excessive erosion of the earth on this edge.

Integrating lintels directly into rammed-earth elements opens the way

Diagram left: Detail section of the

for earth building to explore new paths of formal development. The windows

lintel in the Chapel of Reconciliation.

and doors of traditional rammed earth structures are tall and narrow. For a

The rammed earth wall is visible on both sides and the underside of this beam is covered with earth. Lintel construction detail at 1:10 scale.

long time, wider openings were technically impossible to create – horizontal fenestration and broad lintels have only become feasible in combination with other materials.

Diagram right: The gates of the Kräuterzentrum in Laufen with a steel girder rammed into the wall element. Section at 1:10 scale. Trass-lime check Rammed earth façade 45 cm

Rammed earth wall 60 cm

L-profile 200 x 20 with thermal separation Thermal separation

Reinforced trass-lime mortar

Edge trim

30 x 32 cm

Rectangular hollow structural section frame


Screws ensure that earth layer and trass-lime or reinforced concrete beam hold together. They are screwed into rammed earth before casting.

Diagram left: The lintel above the doors of the Batschuns Chapel, executed in rammed earth on both sides. Section at 1:10 scale.

Diagram right: Standard section of the Rauch House. Façade of rammed earth, interior wall finished with clay plastering. Section at 1:10 scale.

Rammed earth wall 45 cm

Finish clay plaster 1 cm Clay undercoat 3 cm Reed insulation 2 x 5 cm Clay mortar

Reinforced conrete lintel 20 x 32 cm

Brick check Rammed earth wall 45 cm Reinforced trass-lime mortar


30 x 20 cm


Lehm Ton Erde Studio, Schlins_mixing and ramming

Wil Cemetery, Phase 2 – Rammed earth wall Wil

Switzerland, 2007, Landscape architecture: Engeler Freiraum-

planung & Martin Rauch, free-standing, in situ, 85 m², 104 t

Novartis Campus – Trass-lime wall

Basel, Switzerland, 2007, Landscape architecture:

Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, free-standing, in situ, 800 t

Fluntern Cemetery – Rammed earth wall Zurich,

Switzerland, 2007, Landscape architecture: Berchtold.Lenzin

Landschaftsarchitekten, free-standing, in situ, 25 m², 29 t

Single-Family House Rauch – Rammed earth façade and floor Schlins, Austria, 2005 − 2008, Architecture: Roger Boltshauser & Martin Rauch, load-bearing, in situ

Verwaltungsgebäude UVEK – Art Installation

Bern, Switzerland, 2005 − 2006, Design: raderschallpartner

landschaftsarchitekten, Martin Rauch, 6 m², 27 t

Hergiswil Cemetery – Rammed earth wall Hergiswil

Switzerland, 2005, Architecture: Richard Kretz, Renato

Lampugnani & Martin Rauch, free-standing, in situ, 41 m², 70 t

Riem Church – Rammed earth floor and altar

Munich, Germany, 2005, Design: Florian Nagler

Architekten & Martin Rauch, 28 m², 9 t

Warehouse Grounds – Trass-lime wall

St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2005, Architecture: Vogt Land-

schaftsarchitekten, free-standing, in situ, 47 m², 81 t

Kardinal-Schwarzenberg-Haus – Rammed earth wall

Salzburg, Austria, 2005, Architecture: Flavio Thonet

non-load-bearing, in situ, 77 m², 31 t

La Raia Vineyard – Rammed earth façade Novi Ligure, Italy, 2005, Architecture: Ivana Porfiri, non-load-bearing, in situ, 223 m², 239 t

Wellness Area at Waldhaus Mountain Resort – Rammed

earth wall Flims, Switzerland, 2004, Architecture: Hans Peter

Fontana & Partner, non-load-bearing, in situ, 130 m², 99 t

Quasi Brick, la Biennale di Venezia – Exhibition

Venice, Italy, 2003, Artist: Olafur Eliasson

Vigilius Mountain Resort Hotel – Rammed earth wall

Lana, Italy, 2003, Architecture: Matteo Thun, free-standing

prefabricated, 230 m², 98 t

Chesa Valisa Hotel – Rammed earth wall

Hirschegg, Austria, 2002, Architecture: Architekten

Hermann Kaufmann, load-bearing, prefabricated, 69 m², 65 t

Schlins Cemetery – Rammed earth wall

Schlins, Austria, 2001, Design: Martin Rauch

free-standing, in situ, 68 m², 79 t

Chapel of Rest at the Batschuns Cemetery – Rammed earth façade Batschuns Austria, 2001, Architecture: marte.marte architekten, load-bearing, prefabricated, 176 m², 153 t


Thüringen Bus Station – Rammed earth wall

Thüringen, Austria, 2001, Architecture: Bruno Spagola

non-load-bearing, prefabricated, 17 m², 6 t

Sihlhölzli Sports Complex – Rammed earth façade

Zurich, Switzerland, 2001 − 2002, Architecture: Boltshauser

Architekten, load-bearing, in situ, 250 m², 247 t

“The Mediated Motion”, Kunsthaus Bregenz – Exhibition

Bregenz, Austria, 2001, Artist: Olafur Eliasson &

Günther Vogt, 470 m², 50 t

“Earthwall”, Hamburg Bahnhof – Exhibition

Berlin, Germany, 2000, Artist: Olafur Eliasson

free-standing, in situ, 96 m², 100 t

Etosha House at Basel Zoo – Rammed earth façade Basel, Switzerland, 1998 − 1999, Architecture: Peter Stiner, load bearing, in situ, 420 m², 400 t Gugler Printers Office Building – Rammed earth wall Pielach, Austria 1998 − 1999, Architecture: Ablinger, Vedral & Partner, non-load-bearing, prefabricated, 350 m², 210 t

Alpbach Congress Centre – Rammed earth wall

Albpach, Austria, 1998, Architecture: DINA4 Architektur

non-load-bearing, in situ, 270 m², 110 t

Wil Cemetery, Phase 1 – Rammed earth wall Wil, Switzer-

land, 1997 − 1998, Landscape architecture: Engeler Freiraum-

planung & Martin Rauch, free-standing, in situ, 200 m², 380 t

Single-Family House R. – Rammed earth wall

Hard, Austria 1997, Architecture: Architekten Hermann

Kaufmann, non-load-bearing, in situ, 14 m², 9 t

St. Gerold’s Priory Cemetery – Rammed earth wall

St. Gerold, Austria, 1994, Design: Martin Rauch

free-standing, in situ, 145 m², 40 t

Single-Family House M. – Rammed earth façade

Rankweil, Austria, 1993 − 1996, Architecture: Robert

Felber & Martin Rauch, load-bearing, in situ, 150 m², 160 t

Feldkirch State Hospital – Rammed earth wall Feldkirch, Austria, 1992 − 1993, Design: Martin Rauch, non-load-bearing, in situ, 550 m², 250 t

Chapel of Reconciliation – Rammed earth façade

Berlin, Germany, 1999 − 2000, Architecture: Rudolf Reiter-

mann & Peter Sassenroth, load-bearing, in situ, 180 m², 250 t

Lehm Ton Erde Studio – Rammed earth façade Schlins, Austria, 1990 − 1994, Architecture: Robert Felber & Martin Rauch, non-load-bearing, in situ, 132 m², 144 t

Atelier Gassner – Rammed earth wall

Schlins, Austria, 1984, Architecture: Rudolf Wäger

non-load-bearing, in situ, 8 m², 8 t

Single-Family House R. – Rammed earth wall

Schlins, Austria, 1982 − 1986, Architecture: Johannes Rauch

non-load-bearing, in situ, 70 m², 40 t


Editors: Otto Kapfinger, Marko Sauer Author: Marko Sauer (except where otherwise indicated) Production management/subeditor: Clemens Quirin Translation from German to English: Lindsay Blair Howe Technical copy-editing: Laura Marcheggiano Copy-editing: Simon Cowper Publishing coordination: Cornelia Hellstern Graphic concept and design: Gassner Redolfi KG Andrea Redolfi Photographs: Reinold Amann: p. 74, Beat Bühler: pp. 71, 104 – 105, 152 Markus Bühler-Rasom: pp. 79, 114, 128 – 151, 155, Ralph Feiner: p. 153 Michael Freisager: p. 92, Bruno Klomfar: pp. 52 – 53, 155 Benedikt Redmann: pp. 14 – 49, 66 – 67, 86 – 87, Dominique Wehrli: p. 153 Lehm Ton Erde: pp. 59, 74, 97, 154 Illustrations based on plans/details by: Boltshauser Architekten: Haus Rauch, pp. 82, 97, 106 – 107, 108, 109, 154 Sportanlage Sihlhölzli, pp. 76 – 77, 81, 93, 110 Conte Pianetti Zanetta Architetti: Mezzana Agricultural College, pp. 100, 101, 112, 153 Fehlmann und Brunner Architekten (FeBruAr), p. 152 Robert Felber: Lehm Ton Erde Studio, pp. 94, 109, Mathies House, p. 113 Hans Peter Fontana und Partner: Waldhaus Mountain Resort, p. 93 Herzog & de Meuron: Ricola Kräterzentrum, pp. 79, 83, 88 – 89, 96, 99, 152 marte.marte architekten: Batschuns Chapel of Rest, pp. 68 – 69, 97, 154 :mlzd: Swiss Ornithological Institute Visitor Centre, pp. 81, 98, 152 Rudolf Reitermann & Peter Sassenroth: Chapel of Reconciliation, pp. 54 – 55, 95, 96 Peter Stiner: Etosha House at Basel Zoo, p. 155 Plan graphics: Pauline Sémon and Laura Marcheggiano Printing: Eberl Print GmbH, Immenstadt © 2015 DETAIL – Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG, Munich All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without the prior written consent of the publisher, except in non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. Bibliographic information published by the German National Library. This publication is catalogued in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie by the German National Library; bibliographic details can be found online at ISBN 978-3-95553-273-4 (Print) ISBN 978-3-95553-274-1 (E-Book) ISBN 978-3-95553-275-8 (Bundle)


Martin Rauch: Refined Earth  

For over 25 years, Martin Rauch has been at the forefront of research and development in all aspects of rammed earthed construction. As prop...

Martin Rauch: Refined Earth  

For over 25 years, Martin Rauch has been at the forefront of research and development in all aspects of rammed earthed construction. As prop...