I’d never heard the term Earthship till this weekend when I got to visit this beauty at Stanmer Organics outside Brighton. It was warm and cocooned inside and when the rain started I was glad to be there.

Earthship architecture began development in the 1970s, when the architect Michael Reynolds set out to create a home that would fulfill three criteria. First, it would utilize sustainable architecture, and materials indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible. Second, it would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the electrical grid. Third, it would be feasible for a person with no specialized construction skills to build. Eventually, Reynolds’s vision was transformed into the common U-shaped earth-filled tire homes seen today.

Earthships in Europe from the Low Carbon Trust.