ARTIST Laura Davies has spent a lifetime dreaming up fantastic projects and making them work against all odds.
But even she wasn’t prepared for the dedication – and satisfaction – that would come from building an eco-home entirely from scratch.
Environmentally-minded Laura and partner Dave Buchanan, both 55, moved to Andalucia in 2002 after deciding to give up the rat race in the UK and seek a simpler life in Spain.
The pair initially settled into a Cortijo in Saliente Alto, where they added eco-friendly twists to the traditional rural structure of their home.
But soon they were fantasising about pushing themselves either further – and building a house from the ground up using nothing more than local waste and materials.
After reading about architect Michael Reynolds’ concept of Earthships, the couple came up with ambitious plans to create their very own environmentally friendly pad in the Sorbas area of Almeria Province.
The epic green challenge took over seven years and an estimated £20k to complete and required dozens of car tyres, hundreds of old drink cans and bottle bricks to form the breathtaking dome structure. Put higher up
Other natural items used include the pine wood on the roof that collect rainwater, which the couple use for washing, cooking and for the toilet.
Laura and Dave also transformed tired kitchen units and busted old doors to create the dreamy new interiors into the home they now call Cuevas de Sol.
“I never imagined that it would turn out as lovely as it is and be so nurturing to live in, and we haven’t even finished the interior yet,” said Laura.
“It is so light and airy – the insulation is natural cork from a forest in Valencia and the front of the building is glass.
“It creates solar heat and keeps us warm during winter and cool in the summer months.”
The yearly running costs are minimal, with Laura estimating that the home only costs them an average of 10euros each month.
She said: “The most fulfilling part of being here is living in it – sometimes we can’t believe we built it!”