Award-winning Building Shows Possibilities of Mud-based Construction

Building with mud may bring to mind a simple shelter, but Anandaloy, by German architect Anna Heringer, shows that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

The project showcases the possibilities of building with mud and bamboo, and provides an impressive new therapy center and manufacturing workshop in rural Bangladesh. It has been declared the winner of the Obel Award 2020.

Anandaloy, which means “the place of deep joy” in Bangla, measures a substantial 253 sq m (2,723 sq ft), spread over two floors. The construction process was managed by local contractor Montu Ram Shaw and involved a team of mud and bamboo workers from the local area, including people with disabilities, using traditional cob building techniques.

“It is important to me to show that it is possible to build a modern two-story house with simple resources,” explains Anna Heringer, who has been researching mud-based construction for decades. “Mud is not just dirt – it is a real building material of high quality that you can use to build very exact structures – not only small huts but also large engineering structures and even public buildings.