Arg-e Bam: George Steinmetz

The last (and only) aerial photos taken of the citadel of Bam (Iran), three weeks before it was destroyed in a catastrophic earthquake on 26 Decenmber 2003. “Prior to the earthquake, the fortress had possessed the distinction of being the largest adobe building in the world, recognized for its unbaked mud brick (khesht) and poured mud wall (chineh) construction." After the earth quake the Arg-e Bam was inscribed on the 2004 World Heritage List, and added directly to the World Heritage in Danger List. -


The Musgum houses in Cameroon are made from compressed sun-dried mud. Their dome shape are very close to the catenary arch, the ideal mathematical form for maximum rigidity with a minimum of material.
As well as being decorative, the raised pattern on the outside wall contribute to the drainage of rain and access to the top of the building for regular maintenance of the coating.

From Designboom


The entrance to a “chiefs” compound (chief was used by the British to describe men of ‘high’ status in many African socieites, although they weren’t necessarily chiefs), the mounds in front are shrines for guardian deities/ancestors, with detail on portico. Photo taken by missionary G. T. Basden, early 20th century.