Last Updated: 11.20.01

Understanding Stabilized Earth Construction at the University of Kansas
Nils Gore, Assistant Professor
University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design

These pages are a documentation of work completed in a third-year design studio at the University of Kansas. It follows up on work completed previously at Mississippi State University.

The pedagogical intention of the studio was to have the students understand the relationship between how a thing is made and what it looks like. [This stabilized earth work is merely one activity that took place in the studio. For more information, see the studio website: Production•Articulation•Character.]

Broadcasting Hall is a stabilized earth building, located directly behind the School of Architecture and Urban Design, that was constructed on the University of Kansas campus in about 1942. It was developed as an experiment by KU Civil Engineering Professor R. C. McKnown. As a 60 year-old example of stabilized earth construction in our own backyard (literally), it has served as an important reference during the work of the studio. MORE.....

Soils Research: Our work began with each student collecting soils from wherever they could find it.

Understanding Natural Forces: Developing a Research Agenda
Students were asked to develop research agendas on various topics as a way of questioning stabilized earth's capacity to resist natural forces, understanding its aesthetic implications, and speculating on constructibility issues.

Developing Assemblies Through Research
Students were asked to develop stablized earth block building assemblies, based on following through on the research agendas they developed.


Building Designs