The Mandala straw bale building

In 2007, the Mandala building was constructed as a centre for education, meetings and trainings.  

The entire process, from design to production, was participatory: all involved could share ideas and join in with the makinig of the building.  We decided where the building should be, which way it should be oriented, where the windows should be, then set up the 12 posts that would support the 12 radial beams pointing not-quite to the centre: these were secured, each supporting the next and supported by the previous beam, to form a strong base that carries the roof.

Above the stone foundations, the straw wall started around the frames for the door and the 5 windows.  Like giant bricks, the 40x50x90 cm straw bales were skewered in placed on top of each other, then covered with chicken wire so that the adobe plaster would stick better. The building is a single room, with wide benches around the inside: 50 people can comfortably meet, talk, move and dance. The seating can be tables for writing and drawing, or at night they are spaces for sleeping.