After 12 years working in Canada, Ileana Mavrodin, architect and natural builder decided to head back to her native country in Romania. She settled for her first cob house in Sasca, a village close to Timisoara city, in the west part of the country. Her project is called Casa Verde, which means The Green House.
The concept of this project is all about healthy, environmental, cheap and sustainable way of building in natural areas untouched by civilization. People from around Europe are visiting Ileana every year for a piece of advice on how they can build the house of their dreams using nothing but ecological materials. This initiative brought her many fans in Romania and outside of the country and someone actually had the idea of building a whole village with cob houses in Berca, close to Buzau town (which is located around 110km away from Bucharest, the capital).
A natural material to build with, that you can use straight from your backyard, is earth. Originated from an English word, cob means lump or rounded mass. During her workshops at Sasca, Ileana Mavrodin teaches you how to make a house from the scratch using cob. Cob is the result of mixing earth, sand and straw. The experience of using cob goes beyond your building skills and gets you into a magical and exotic feeling because you can freely use both hands and feet to model your house. If you ever wanted to know how Demi Moore felt in Ghost when she was sculpting with clay, now you can find out visiting this part of Romania and learning this ancient building technique. Everything is organic when you build with cob, from the material to its round, natural shape.
The interior of a cob house is very cozy, appealing to your desire to feel at home; to a home like in only fairy tales you would see. If you want to go ecological all the way, you can use recycled materials for the house; you can integrate colorful glass bottles in the walls of the construction to philter the natural light in different shades. Most of people choose to have their walls painted with inspiring mandalas or creative flower patterns. A cob house can have a hippie look, or a chic one, or definitely a contemporary and elegant one. A very interesting part of the building it is the green rooftop and there you can leave your inspiration run wild and bring into your private suspended garden the flowers you always wanted to keep in the house but it seemed you never had room for them.
If you decide to come to Sasca at one of Ileana’s workshops you can also experience for a whole week how it is to live and eat organic, because the guests are hosted in the beautiful village in traditional houses and the food is provided by local people from their own sustainable farms.