Amphitheatre walls @ UBC – Building the test walls + project outline

This is the start of a fantastic project to build the 2 largest rammed earth walls on the west coast of BC, Canada.  The project is located in the Botanical Garden at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada.  The big walls will form the stage backdrop and surround  about 1/2 of the amphitheatre to the south of a sculptural fountain.  This world class landscape architecture was conceived by Forma Design of Vancouver, BC. We built this project in partnership with Aquarius Contracting’s Rama Khalsa who is apprenticing with us.

This post will show the 2 test walls we built at the start of the project to make sure everyone involved would be pleased with the color and decorative choices before we scaled up to the large walls.


Amphitheatre plan courtesy of Forma Design. The 2 rammed earth walls are shown in beige. One of the key elements of the design is the use of the geometry of the Fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci sequence it essentially nature’s numbering system that forms the design of  most living things on earth.


Clifton and Rama. Test wall forms are ready to go.


Ramming the test walls.


We made the 2 walls slightly different, changing the middle color but leaving the top and bottom the same. There is decorative rock between each color change.  The slope of the layers is to mimic the slope of the big walls.


Viewing to choose the preferred wall.


The winner is test wall 1.


A closeup of the chosen wall.

We are now ready to move on to building on a larger

scale now that we are sure we are on the right track.

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