Paris-based architect Elsa Ricaud has been selected as the 2012 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow  and will begin her program of study July 2012. Her interest lies in the preservation and maintenance of North American earthen architecture, and she will also study the contemporary application of earthen materials to new buildings and structures. Beginning in Washington, D.C., Elsa will visit federal and local preservation agencies as a precursor to a study tour that will take her across the country. She plans to survey pre-Columbian earthen heritage sites in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River valleys as well as pueblo and earthen heritage sites in the Four Corners region. On the East Coast and in the Southeast, she will participate in several seminars on earthen building construction techniques to gain some hands-on experience. Along the way, she plans to document the contemporary use of earthen modern architecture techniques by Frank Lloyd Wright, Hassan Fathy, and other mid-20th-century architects.
Elsa currently serves as project leader in charge of documentation and restoration at the Grand Palais in Paris with the Architectes en Chef des Monument Historiques . Concurrent with her Richard Morris Hunt Prize, she will work with CRAterre , an international center for earthen architecture, to research earthen landmarks in Grenoble, France, and the US.
For the full list of Richard Morris Hunt Fellows, click here .
Photo of the Hassan Fathy-designed Dar-Ul-Islam Mosque in New Mexico courtesy of Omar Bárcena .