© 2019 by Madina Z

THE SAHARAN IGLOO

Underground dome house made of sand and bacteria.

Rethinking Architecture 

Competition MZ + VV

Location: The Sahara Desert

In the near future global warming will increasingly strike the most vulnerable populations around the world. This project takes an opportunity to re-think habitat in an extreme environment based on low-tech solutions and the use of local resources.


The proposed construction introduces an abundant local material (sand), a catalyst that solidifies the sand (bacteria bacillus pasteurii) and a locally-made cast (camel wool sandbags) as elements to fabricate sand bricks.


The Saharan igloo is a new form of habitat inspired by vernacular dome typologies from the North Pole - an antagonistic extreme environment, and is adapted for extreme heat. The project’s re-interpretation sets a dome house underground within the dunes to protect from overheating during the day and maintaining the warmth at night. The house is a minimal habitat that guarantees maximum comfort featuring human-sized sleeping alcoves articulated around a generous living area.