Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Ceramic House?

I began to look at a new masonry design in the early 1990's. I had been throwing very large ceramic pots, and they were an interesting challenge from an engineering standpoint. They became quite architectural, and I began to ponder the notion of a ceramic house.

After doing some research, I realized that others had been investigating ceramic houses. In particular was an Iranian architect located in southern California, Nader Khalili. He was doing some very cool monolithic ceramic houses which were fired on-site, with large burners mounted in doorways, windows, etc. While this seemed pretty cool, and while his work was a real joy to look at, it struck me as impractical. Sadly, Mr. Khalili passed away in 2008.

It occurred to me that it would be more practical to break the house into component parts which could then be assembled. This was masonry. Thus began my venture into the wonderful world of masonry.

To keep this doable and relatively easy, I realized that the number of different shapes should be kept at a minimum. They should also be produce-able on a simple mold, should bear any load properly, and should be small enough to be handled by a single person.

I thought about this for a long time, and this is where we'll pick up tomorrow.

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