31 October 2023

On site at the Rammed Earth House

The Rammed Earth house is beginning to resemble its true form, having been unwrapped from scaffolding and tarpaulin at its rural Wiltshire site. Textural castle-like walls now stand confidently, having been reverently rammed in-situ over the past 12 months.

At Jonathan Tuckey Design, our work centres on the belief that reusing existing built stock is the most sustainable approach to future development. The site contained a few small surviving 19th century buildings, somewhat crudely extended in the 1990s. Our approach sought to strip them back to their original extents and re-use as much demolition waste as possible to form aggregate for the new rammed earth walls. There was a collective push to avoid cement and lime stabilisers, and instead maximise the use of the clay so prevalent on site, with the typical mixture combining clay with aggregate in a proportion roughly 1-3.

The homestead features four wings that adjoin via a lightweight linear timber volume housing the kitchen. Courtyard gardens offer a moments contemplation before the grand vistas are revealed from the living areas and master bedroom.

The exterior, while distinctive for its rammed earth vernacular, is comprised of a myriad of elements that accent the fundamental granular facades. Chicksgrove limestone windowsills, oak frames and bag rubbed brick articulate sophisticated contemporary junctions that elevate the ancient building technique.

Milestones have been reached inside, with the sweeping spiral rammed earth stairwell complete and glazing installed; granting the building fresh eyes in which to admire the expansive vistas from its elevated post. A rammed earth floor is being sealed in the snug; its glinting polished surface akin to a rich terrazzo.

We’re working together with Stonewood Builders, The Timber Frame Company, Webb Yates and Erden on this pioneering project as it nears completion.

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