Straw Bale Micro Building by Studio 1984

Designed by Studio 1984, the “Nest” is a compact eco-home concept made from wood and straw. It was originally conceived as an entry to Archi<20, a design competition for low-cost, environmentally-friendly architecture in France.

Around a wooden frame, straw bales are attached. A simple roof keeps it dry. The interior can be used for whatever you imagine. This example was built in three weeks and sits on an acacia wood frame so it leaves little to no impact when removed.

Read more about it a New Atlas.

15 thoughts on “Straw Bale Micro Building by Studio 1984”

    1. Combustible and fire ants love to live in straw around here. Neither threat is very appealing to me.

      1. Mark Harrison

        True, straw is combustible and can be a haven for critters but (there’s always a but!) not when the straw is baled and protected with a cladding/render, there are now thousands of straw baled projects around the world in all climates and environments to prove the value of this renewable builing resource.

      2. Marsha Cowan

        Straw bale houses, due to the lack of oxygen inside them, are less combustible than stick built houses with siding on the outside, insulation in the walls, and drywall on the inside. As far as ants, being a former resedential contractor, I challenge you to find a house anywhere in the USA that doesn’t have some kind of ant living between the insulation and sheathing of its walls. Fire ants have to have the moisture of the ground, kind of like termites, to live, so you may find them nesting in hay bales still on the ground, but finding them living above the ground in straw bales is highly unlikely. They don’t build above ground tunnels like termites do. We’re talking about straw here, not hay. Hay still has the consumptive digestible part of the plant on it. Straw is the nondigestible fibrous part of the plant that, when packed tightly and protected from air on the outside will not decompose. Even mice and bugs find it unattractive because of the lack of air. So far a straw bale house built by regulations and codes (yes, they exist now) will last at least as long as a stick built house with practically none of the upkeep.

        1. Combustion of the straw bales may be solvable, but the bigger issue for fire is the exposed trusses made of wood. Basically a teepee fire ready to go up in flames!

  1. Combustible, maybe. But perhaps it could be modified by plastering. Fire is not a big hazard with plastered hay-bales, (certainly no worse than stud construction, in any case!), and I really doubt if it will blow over in any but the worst wind storm. of course if it’s plastered, then it makes sense to have a proper foundation, proper drainage and the roof should protect it from rain. As is, it can be a good summer (temp.) building, I think..

    1. Mark Harrison

      ….less we confuse anyone, hay is not straw and is not a suitable material for construction due to its nature. Straw has to be dry and baled properly to work, its also preferable for it to be either wheat or rice straw as the silica content is usefully high, which also makes it less combustible. Straw has to be a specific bulk density in the bale, this then is construction grade material which with suitable building design can become load bearing.

      1. I love the interior but not so crazy about the exterior. I’d want one a little larger to include a powder room and tiny kitchen.

  2. I’m wondering is the wheat straw OK to plaster or stucco (like Arizona older homes)? How would it hold up either open or enclosed in a wetter climate like Tennessee? I’m looking to build a vacation home there near family,thank you.

  3. I love straw bale, but adobe or plaster is necessary. Once you have that they are actually less combustible than other homes. Well-insulated, very quiet, and with a clay/straw plaster they are ‘organically’ healthy – no off-gassing materials. I would prefer the plastered straw as opposed to the wood walls, but I come from the Southwest where such home styles have existed for hundreds of years. As for a tiny house – I would prefer a HOUSE. This is a shed/writer’s cabin/office etc.

  4. Kimberly Breeze

    As a member of a family that built an award winning straw bale house I know this: The straw is not ordinary straw. It is rice straw and less or not attractive to most pests. Most important the straw gets COMPLETELY encased in a plaster like covering of compacted earth and plaster called PISO. With this covering the structure can last hundreds of years as they have in the midwest and China. This little demonstration project is just that and not real.

  5. In India below poverty line people in villages stay for long time , even in rainy season.After rainy season they plaster the house with clay mud.

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