What do you do once you’ve spent a lifetime in designing homes, churches and commercial buildings and you’re 64 year old? Take a hint from this architect named Octavio Mendoza who has created a house made of clay and has literally baked the house that he lives in. According to our 64 year old architect the 5,400 sq. ft. house is ‘the biggest piece of pottery in the world.’ The house has coined a number of names for itself; Casa Terracota or Casa Barro (Spanish), while the locals prefer using the name Casa de Flintstone. The house is located in Villa de Levya which is basically a colonial village in Colombia.
The exterior look of Casa Terracota is like a big mound of clay which ‘somewhat’ resembles a cottage if you’re trying to find a shape over here. The house is furthermore surrounded by farmland and the whole place comes with the backdrop of the mountains. Once you’re inside the rooms the walls blend into one another as if they were flowing and made out of a single mold. Although it is known as the house of Flintstone in the neighborhood, it still has a number of modern features for its residents. You’ll find toilets and sinks covered with mosaic tiles which come in an array of colors. Solar panels have been incorporated for hot water and two floors with sleeping area along with lounge are made available. Apart from these, the house comes with a fully functional kitchen that houses utensils made of clay. Beer mugs have been made from recycled glass while the lighting has been made available by employing scrap metal.
Mendoza started this project 14 years back while claiming it as the ‘project for life’. The idea behind this feat was to convey the message that the soil can be used to come up with feats of architecture that are habitable and feasible while only employing natural resources which are available to build such buildings. This Casa Terracota doesn’t contain any steel or cement. According to Mendoza; ‘Think of it this way. In desert places (which exist all across the planet), soil is perfect for this type of architecture. This means that for all those regions, a system like this could bring housing to millions of families. Casa Terracota is a unique space, destined not only to embody and promote my philosophy but also to spark off architectural and artistic experimentation,” said Mendoza. “This means that we are always encouraging the creation of alternative proposals for the use and decoration of its spaces – all with the help of those same four elements of nature. For this we are in constant contact with artisans, artists, architects, designers and other craftsmen who are interested in helping us take the project even further.”
Casa Terracotta is open for visitors and costs only $3.50 for a tour that is self guided.