The Centre for Irish Earthen

Building with Earth

Irish culture has a rich history of earthen architecture, and the techniques employed encompass cob, mud brick, and wattle and daub.

However, with the wholesale global embrace of mass production and industrialised materials over the last century, Irish builders have had little economic or cultural impetus to build in earth. This has led to a near terminal contraction of the bodies of traditional knowledge and experience which, when combined with the materials to hand, produce unique, local architecture. This ignorance has, in turn, led to the reflex use of inappropriate, and, on occasion, hostile materials when attempts have been made to preserve this vital, but neglected facet of the Irish cultural heritage.

The CIEA intends a long-term survey of surviving Irish earth structures and a thorough research of the particular techniques employed as a natural and necessary precursor to the resurrection of traditional techniques. Through contacts with similar organisations abroad, the CIEA intends to blend this with modern research and disseminate the results among any and all interested parties, but with particular emphasis upon institutes of further education and trade organisations.