RESIDENTIAL EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE IN MULA (SPAIN): STUDY AND CATALOGUING OF ITS CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUE
The city of Mula (Region of Murcia, Spain), of Islamic origin and built on the top of a hill, is dominated by the spectacular Renaissance castle of Velez and a mediaeval defensive wall. The wall remains, those still standing, consist of several enclosures and sections built in rammed earth. As many of these are a magnificent example of defensive earthen architecture, the Castle of Mula has been widely analysed and recently protected by a Master Plan. However, Mula’s unique old town, an Asset of Cultural Interest in the category of Historic-Artistic Complex, with its irregular and narrow streets at the foot of the castle, includes residential constructions (mansions, palaces and humble dwellings) made with earth. The traditional residential architecture of Mula includes characteristic 2- or 3-storey buildings with sloping roofs. However, there are no specific studies on these and the use of earth as a construction material. The main aim of the study therefore is to carry out an initial identification and cataloguing of the different earthen construction techniques in the historic residential buildings of the old town and their relation to the residential typology of Mula.