Spiraling Dirt. (June 2016)

This rammed earth spiral is entirely made out of local, Princeton soil. It revisits a traditional vernacular construction technique used in New Jersey in the 19th century, and throughout the past 3 millennia around the globe. Rammed earth deserves renewed attention because of its sustainable potential as a low-cost zero-emission material. Local soil, coated with a lime-dirt mixture for erosion protection was densely compacted into a temporary wooden formwork. The spiral’s performance over time will be monitored as an ongoing Campus as a Lab research project of the Form Finding Lab in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Designed by Tim Michiels and Prof. Sigrid Adriaenssens.

Construction lead by Tim Michiels (earth construction) and Eric Teitelbaum (carpentry) with a construction team consisting of Amber Lin, Jacob Essig, Victor Charpentier, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Olek Niewiarowski and Paul, Steve and Mike from the Princeton University Civil Engineering and Construction crew