From left, cob builders Dominic, Frankie, Alan, Alexandra, Linda and Siobhan
The African hut
Published: 4 May, 2012
by AMY SMITH
LINDA Royles swapped the sharp suits she wore as a company director for muddy overalls four years ago and hasn’t looked back.
She is now director of Cob in the Community, a group of “natural builders” who have used cob, a traditional building material made of clay, straw and sand, to build an African hut at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Archway.
“Clay is available in pretty much any area and is a really good medium,” she said. “There’s a stickiness to clay that allows people to play, create and have a dialogue.”
The base of the hut is made of recycled tyres rammed with earth. Benches have been constructed from used wood pallets and the cob mix crafted with sticks and bits of broken plastic.
Once finished, the hut will be used for storytelling and form part of a nature walk through a previously unused section of the school playground.
The intention is for the students to become actively involved in environmental issues. The team has also been building a traditional cob oven.