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In the desert plains of the white valley in Mauritania, some communities haved lived for millennia in sheltered oasis, producing some of the best dates in the Sahara. Like often in hot countries , each house consists of several small separate buildings, each with its own function. Here specific building materials are carefully chosen for each function. The kitchen is made of concrete block , bedrooms walls are a mix of stones and mud , the living room is a tent … In this village we also encounter strange straw domes that looks like something straight out of a children’s book. This is the most important room, reception room. It is carefully built with fine interlaced branches, dressed in a coat of straw , all sewn like a quilt over the entire surface of the dome.

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The only concession to modernity is the structure on which the building rests . thousands of small branches are tied together by plastic ties ( for better durability ). With this technique each piece can be custom made into any shape, and this overall structure maintains a nice flexibility in case of strong winds.

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With its low door and ventilation openings, combined with ultra insulating material, the room stays cool and comfortable all year round. The acoustic quality is also excellent. Here is  a three-year dome that looks brand new.

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