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Rammed earth Maharishi Vastu home in Australia: A solid model for natural materials
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22 January 2011
An important component of Maharishi Vedic (Vastu*) architecture is building sustainably with natural, non-toxic materials suitable to the local climatic conditions. The January 2011 issue of At Home in Maharishi Vastu®—the e-newsletter of Maharishi Vedic Architecture—profiles a recent example of how this principle has been applied in a rammed earth home in Australia.
Bob and Judy Jackson have recently completed their Maharishi Vastu, rammed earth home in the hills of Western Australia, outside of Perth. The home has a unique character and style, with the natural earth colors standing out in the leafy suburban surroundings. This is the second Maharishi Vastu rammed earth home to be built in Western Australia.
Strip floorings and a concrete pad support the rammed earth walls, which are internal as well as external. The owners say the earthen walls give them a feeling of connectedness to nature and the earth as well as a sense of strength and longevity.
The 250 square meter (2682 square foot), square-shaped house has a well-balanced clerestory (cupola) allowing the light to flood in from all directions. Large floor to ceiling windows in the dining area give more natural light to the interior. The east entrance is recessed for cover, with timber and glass doors as well as a skylight providing light to that area.
A large lot allowed for a studio workshop to be built at the back of the house. A patio area for relaxation and entertaining connects the two buildings. Judy has adorned the property with colorful gardens and landscaping. Water is collected in two 10,000 liter cistern tanks for most of the house requirements. Grey water from the house is then used to irrigate fruit trees and rose bushes.
Bob comments: ''My wife and I owner-built (general contracted), which saved us a lot of money as well as allowing us to oversee the process to ensure the house conformed to the Vastu principles. Overall, the planning and building process was pretty much hassle free, much easier than we had anticipated in taking it on!
''We had moved from a very large house and thought we would always miss the old house and spacious property, but in fact, we find that we love this new house so much that we would never think of moving anywhere else.
''The house has such a feeling of peace and harmony, and we find that our whole life and relationships just seem to be happier. It is commonly remarked upon by visitors that the house is just such a nice place to be. In fact, the house and the gilded kalash have become something of a feature in the neighborhood. The golden kalash fits in really well and does not come across as 'odd' to anyone.''
For more pictures of the Jacksons' home, visit the photo album on the Maharishi Vastu page on Facebook®.
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* Vastu refers to Vastu vidya, Vedic architecture—the knowledge of designing and constructing Fortune-Creating buildings in accord with Natural Law—brought to light from the Vedic Literature as Maharishi Sthapatya Veda by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
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