A two-day workshop on archaeology-inspired modern building at Blue Home Almere (Oosterwold-project, NL) with a guest visit by Dr. Tanja Romankiewicz (University of Edinburgh).

Wattle wall made of willow branches, used in the past as form-work for earthen walls.


  • Location: Oosterwold, Almere, future Hannah Arendtweg
  • When: Friday 13 en Saturday 14 October 2017
  • Costs: € 160,- (two days)
  • Registration: archaeobuild@gmail.com (closes Friday 6 October)

Due to group size limitations, timely registration is recommended. Priority is given to participants who sign up for both days.

It is possible to pitch a tent or caravan on site or (for a fee) at the nearby nature campsite Kemphaan.


Archaeo-based building

What can archaeological knowledge teach us about sustainable housing? This question is central to this two-day workshop in Almere Oosterwold in the centre of the Netherlands. Ancient house builders knew very well how to use locally available building materials for constructing homes that fitted just fine within their own natural and cultural landscapes. Archaeo Build seeks to combine knowledge and experience from settlement research, experimental archaeology and architectural conservation to develop new ideas for modern sustainable housing. In this workshop, we will look at what the benefits of such an approach may be and also try our hand at some traditional but currently little used building materials: small diameter roundwood and clay (daub).

International researcher

As part of this workshop Dr. Tanja Romankiewicz will explain about the research she has conducted at the University of Edinburgh over the past few years. Tanja trained as an architect as well as an archaeologist and currently seeks to combine insights from both professional fields. Some of the most important building materials and techniques from Tanja’s research will be used in a newbuild in Almere: a double wattle wall will an earthen core. Archaeo Build asked Tanja to present her research on ancient building methods and highlight what archaeology-inspired newbuilds may do for us.

Blue Home Almere

The workshop will take place at the location for Blue Home Almere, a private initiative by Joost Fluitsma within the still to be developed Oosterwold residential area. The blue economy concept by Gunter Pauli underpins both the design and building process for the house Joost is planning to build. The aim is to find a balance between air, light, water, energy, matter, occupants and sound, particularly by means of working with locally available materials and people: “Here, the wellbeing of people and their environment is first and foremost.” Joost asked Archaeo Build to think about the ways ancient peoples in this part of the Netherlands may have lived up to the principles of the blue economy. The current workshop is the first outcome of this cooperation and serves to test the archaeo-based design for the wall.

The workshop

During this two-day workshop, introductions will be given on the Oosterwold and Blue Homes projects (Joost Fluitsma), the design for the wall (Daniël Postma, Archaeo Build) and archaeo-based building as a starting point for modern eco-building (Dr. Tanja Romankiewicz, University of Edinburgh). By far the most time will be spent on building a 3 m long and 2 m high wall section, with traditional materials and tools. House plans from Iron Age buildings were used to inform the design, drawing on excavations previously conducted in the zone around the former Zuiderzee, in which the city of Almere is now centrally located. Activities will include:

  • building a sturdy form-work from wattle;
  • natural insulation and heat storage;
  • making rammed earth;
  • fitting in (window) openings in a double wattle wall with rammed earth core;
  • mixing and applying a daub base coat for clay plastering.

Participants of the workshop will learn:

  • key features and possibilities of archaeo-based building;
  • building a wall from local, natural materials (wattle, rammed earth, insulation, daub);
  • fixing a wall plate for supporting a roof on the wall.

The workshop is part of the National Archaeology Days. The test wall can be admired free of charge during the Blue Home Almere open day on Sunday 15 October.

Workshop archaeo-based building: Iron Age cavity wall

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