Episode 24: Building with Mud

At Lammas, Nigel is building a roundhouse. Or is it a mud house?

Heavy Autumn rains have made progress difficult for the ecovillage pioneers in Pembrokeshire, but they have still built two beautiful reciprocal frame roundhouses using mud as their main building material.

The term "reciprocal frame" was coined by Graham Brown of Findhorn in about 1987, so it hasn't been around for very long. The practise has since been pioneered by low impact builder Tony Wrench, who has now created many homes based on this framework and who gives comprehensive guidelines in Living in the Future Episode 43.

Tony has re-christened them "reciframes" and has been integral to the building of several frames at the Lammas project.

Tony gives a potted history of the frames on his website, but the image I like the best is of Morris dancers holding their swords into a circle while a handsome young dancer leaps up onto the swords (which are now creating a reciframe) and is supported by said frame. Brilliant.

You can see more examples of reciprocal frames in Charlie's House, a roundhouse built on land next door to the Lammas land which was created by young sculptor Charlie Hague and his partner Megan.