A house made of straw, clay earth and a love for nature
Pure nature – that describes the Boutique Hotel Maya. A holiday here in the Swiss Valais is a retreat to a place surrounded by meadows, forests and of course the impressive mountains. Inside the hotel itself, nature also surrounds you. The two hotel buildings are made of straw bales and the inner wall surfaces are plastered with clay earth. Local building materials for the house and furniture, regional food, as well as wellness and outdoor activities allow for optimal relaxation – pure recharging.
Walls that breathe
The construction of the hotel contributes significantly to your relaxation. The clay earth and straw building materials regulate humidity naturally. When humidity is high, they absorb water from the air and release it again when the humidity drops. In this way, the indoor climate always remains pleasant – and of course free of pollutants.
A straw and clay-earth house also does something for the environment. As a renewable building material, straw is particularly sustainable because it is available in almost unlimited quantities. In addition, it uses solar energy for its growth and even binds CO2. This ensures an excellent carbon balance.
The carbon balance is further improved by the excellent insulating effect of straw. It reduces the need for heating energy. In the Hotel Maya, a central earthen-clay oven provides pleasant warmth. It doesn’t get more natural than this.
A house that impresses
The owner got the idea for the straw house from a TV documentary in which a farmer built a barn out of straw bales next to his field – simple yet effective. But how do you build an entire hotel out of straw?
The strawbales are held up by a wooden framework. In the Maya Boutique Hotel, the walls consist of wooden frames up to 120 cm deep, which are stuffed with straw bales. A total of 55 tonnes of straw were used.
The protruding straw was cut off and the surfaces coated – with lime on the outside and clay earth on the inside. For this, drywall clayboards were mounted over the wooden frames and then plastered with clay earth.
There are “windows in the wall” in all guestrooms as well as in the dining room. In these “windows”, glass replaces the clayboard and plaster wall surface so that you can see the straw underneath. This not only showcases the innovative construction but also looks great.Read more »
Clay building materials that protect – from Claytec
Straw as a building material for walls is unusual at first glance. But the Maya Boutique Hotel not only proves that it is possible but also makes clear all the advantages for individual well-being as well as for the environment.
Earthen clay wall finishing in a straw building has an important function: it protects the construction from moisture. It does this directly as a wall surface, but also within the construction by absorbing moisture and thus keeping it away from the wood and straw.
Where in the past only simple earth was available, modern clay building materials from Claytec were used in the construction of the hotel. Using drywall clayboards, the interior walls could be mounted quickly. The subsequent plastering with clay is also easier with the even base the clayboards provide. Straw can also be used as a textural add-in to the plaster. It models the characteristics of the plaster and creates an interesting surface design.