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Today's natural builders look to ancient structures like these for inspiration. Every indigenous culture developed a vernacular building tradition using available materials in response to the local climate.
At the UN-sponsored Habitat II conference in Istanbul in 1996, a builder from Harran, Turkey demonstrates the traditional method of mortaring adobes into a corbelled dome. Some of the adobe bricks he is using are 2000 years old.
The St. Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, was built of adobe bricks in 1815. The massive earthen walls and structural buttresses create a dramatic exterior, and a cool, comfortable interior in this desert climate.
The Greek village of Santorini was built of local stone, plastered and whitewashed with lime. White walls and roofs help deflect the heat of the Mediterranean sun.
This Troglodyte or "cave dweller" home is carved into the soft lime-stone strata of the Loire Valley, France.


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