Justin at Materialicous points us to a house built out of gabions, or metal cages filled with rocks, usually found in retaining walls. Here, they wrap the walls and roof. Built in 2003 in Bavaria by Titus Bernhard Architekten, the architects note that it faced considerable opposition from the community, and that the owner had great patience.
40,000 tons of stone act as a thermal mass to keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter.
The gabions appear to be attached as a kind of second skin outside of the walls and roof of the house.
It appears to be built of concrete with exterior insulation and the stone outside, with the gabions fastened to anchors planted in the concrete structure.
So to answer the inevitable question, "Why is this on TreeHugger"? Um, gabions are usually an inexpensive way to build a wall, and this is an innovative use of an unusual material and technique that can deliver terrific thermal mass. ::Titus Bernhard Architekten via ::Materialicious