June Donaldson and Edward Garry live at an altitude of 2,600 metres in Mosoj Llajta, Yotala, 20 minutes from the colonial city of Sucre in Bolivia, South America. Using earth and stones from the land, we have sculpted beautiful buildings which compliment the high desert landscape and incorporate creative and innovative elements of design.

We have designed a high quality hotel in Sucre for guests who want to get off the treadmill of travelling from city to city in South America. At Sky Hacienda you can dictate your own timing and choose how to enjoy your stay, whether it is doing very little or exploring the best that the Andes in Bolivia has to offer.

19 November 2009


In Bolivia it is the law to build a wall or fence around every rural property at least 2 metres high, principally to stop animals entering and causing damage, but also to provide security. To embark on the massive undertaking of fencing and/or walling over 10 acres straight off would have delayed our adobe brick-making process and the subsequent build of the Roundhouse. So we decided to focus on securing an area around the house and thereby creating a garden.

A sad, but very real fact of life in the poorest country in South America is that everything is a potential target for theft in Bolivia. We knew we would have to employ a caretaker once the house was built so that we could leave it safely to go into Sucre or further afield. On our trip to Chile we had seen a guardhouse incorporated into a wall, and we decided that we would replicate the design. We were also inspired by some small dome shaped buildings made of adobe in the garden of Cafe Mirador, overlooking Sucre. Later on, when the whole property will be fenced in, we could build a new guardhouse near the to the hacienda on the road, and we could use the original guardhouse as a meditation or quiet space.

Ed also came up with the idea of building an adobe archway linking the garden to the area we had designated for the swimming pool. We used river rock to fill in the thick walls at the base of the arch, and some of them were quite beautiful.

As with the walls to the Roundhouse, we dug a trench for the garden wall, filled it with river rock and then poured concrete to form the foundations. We then built stem walls using the stones on the land to support the adobe - where we had incorporated part of the perimeter wall we would use rammed earth formed between wood forms, but the garden walls being much thinner, would take a single row of adobe bricks.

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