Casa Terracota: The Clay House

Nov 23, 2015 1 comments

This misshapen adobe colored house, located in Villa de Leyva, a colonial mountain village 95 miles north of Bogota, Colombia, was built by Columbian architect Octavio Mendoza. It was built entirely out of clay and baked in the sun. No steel or cement or other reinforcing materials were used. The 5,400-square-foot house is claimed by Mendoza to be "the biggest piece of pottery in the world."

The house features two floors with lounging and sleeping areas equipped with beds, tables and chairs also made from locally sourced clay and fired in a kiln. There is a fully functional kitchen with dishes, jugs and vases all fashioned from the same material. Solar panels provide hot water for showers, and bathroom toilets and sinks are decorated with colorful mosaic tiles.


Photo credit: Bert Vulpius/Panoramio

Mendoza, who spent most of his career designing homes, commercial buildings and churches, calls the clay house his ‘project for life’. It took him 14 years to build it. Mendoza's goal, he says, is to demonstrate how soil can be transformed into habitable architecture by simply using the natural resources at hand.


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Photo credit: Bert Vulpius/Panoramio


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Photo credit: NBCNews


Photo credit: Myriam Mahecha/Flickr


Photo credit: Bert Vulpius/Panoramio


  1. I love that. Why should houses be mostly boxes. This made me laugh, thank you.


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