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Context

This question is part of a set about a world where supernatural creatures exist. Some on these creatures are "invisible" humans (not trully invisible like Susan Storm, but unremarkable/unmemorable), and their remains are used to make magical items, like hidden doors or police-proof bags.

Meat-town

A village is built using human remains (bones, hair, muscles, skin, etc.), only the interior furniture is normal. The "material" used can be hardened/modified using chemicals (for example, the skin is tanned to make leather) but not fixed together with nails or screws.

To restrain the scope a bit, let's say that the village should be able to accommodate 28 human-shaped creatures and each inhabitant should have at their disposal a personal space of at least 6 square meters. The buildings can be anything from one-room huts to shared 12 rooms "mansions". The climate is cold and dry, with a few snowflakes in winter.

I don't think the materials used here would be resistant enough to support a second floor, all my solutions are for one-story buildings.


I thought of three possible architectures:

Flesh bricks

Blocks of flesh are compressed in brick shapes, dried and treated using silicone. (I know an artist used this method to make sculptures out of dead bodies but the firewall at work stops me from doing researches, so more on this latter)
These bricks are then used to build small houses.

The problem here is that I don't know how firm the bricks would be, and how high meat and silicone walls could be.

Bone walls

Houses are build using mostly bones, held together with ropes made of either intestines or hair. Problem : these houses would be drafty as hell.

I'm not sure how I could make doors and shutters so for now, in both meat houses and bones houses, windows and doors are covered by simple skin curtains.

Skin tents

Tanned skin and pillars made of bones are used to build large tents. The advantage of this method is that the village can be moved seasonally.


Questions

Which one of these architectures is the most realist and why?

If these are not feasible, is there a better method (or mix of methods)?

How should I shape the buildings to improve their durability and comfort?

Bonus : Could you estimate the minimal volume of dead bodies needed to build one house?

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  • $\begingroup$ Note : I'm not a native English speaker, please tell me if you see errors in this post. $\endgroup$ – Babika Babaka Sep 9 '15 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Dunno about the physics of it, but sure sounds grim... $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Sep 9 '15 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ Related: a chapel made entirely from bones in Portugal odditycentral.com/pics/… $\endgroup$ – Nathanael Farley Sep 9 '15 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ Related: My Worldbuilding question Are bones and skulls good building material? $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Sep 9 '15 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ Look, osteo-carpentry is a tricky discipline to master. I'd recommend that you start by building a simple, classic throne of skulls and then see how you feel. $\endgroup$ – Doug Warren Sep 9 '15 at 19:27
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Which one of these architectures is the most realist and why?

Flesh bricks is the least realistic. If you already 'need' to use 'meat' to make bricks, where are you getting the knowledge and resources for the silicon?

Bones and skin (leather) are already used by different native tribes to different extents in the real world for homes. The native american Tipis used leather, though they had saplings for the structure, and some Eskimo's used whale bones as the structural supports in their buildings.

If these are not feasible, is there a better method (or mix of methods)?

Bones and leather certainly can make a decent building. Human bones however can be problematic because of their small size. Using sinew to tie bones together, you might be able to make some ribs to build a small tent.

How should I shape the buildings to improve their durability and comfort?

Now for human bone construction, part of it comes down to volume of bones available. Take the catacombs of Paris, there are many 'structures' built out of human bones and with some batting, could be fairly snug and 'comfortable'.

But using bones and treated body parts (leather, sinew etc) are the way to go. Maybe even treating the intestines to make 'string' or rope such as catgut

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Silicon can be used in this scenario, as well as every chemicals and building methods we know today. My story is set on an alternate version of our Earth, and the people who built Meat-town did it just because they wanted to. $\endgroup$ – Babika Babaka Sep 9 '15 at 21:45
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I'm not sure about the solidity of flesh bricks, and I think bones are not long or strong enough to make big houses using a girder architecture.

I propose an alternative combining your first two ideas : timber framing (maisons à colombages)

Timber framing uses shorter girders, that could be big bones or rather bones bundles. Smaller bones could be used to fill the frames and your silicon-flesh dough could cover theses bones to impermeabilise the walls.

Since you do not want more than a floor, even the longer girders do not have to be very long. Walls would be one to three "floors" of bones frameworks as long as the longest humans bone you could find (legs), filled with your very disgusting meat dough.

Once you decide the size of your houses, you can easily calculate the very minimal dead bodies by counting the number of leg bones to make your frameworks.

Carved and well-adjusted wide bones like scapulas or hips could make a roof like wood tiles. enter image description here

You could think about thatch (chaume) for the roof with hair or intestine since you mentionned it, but it will take a lot of material.

enter image description here

You might look at this question, if it's not already done.

Now I feel as insane as you, I hope it helps !

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  • $\begingroup$ Bonne idée, merci! Avant d'accepter ta réponse, je vais attendre un peu pour voir si quelqu'un a une autre architecture à proposer. $\endgroup$ – Babika Babaka Sep 9 '15 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ en inglés por favor $\endgroup$ – JDSweetBeat Sep 9 '15 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DJMethaneMan Translation : I thanked her I told that I'll wait to see if someone propose a different architecture before accepting this answer. $\endgroup$ – Babika Babaka Sep 9 '15 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @SpaceLizard: No problem. I let words in french to save you some translations ^^ $\endgroup$ – Tyrabel Sep 9 '15 at 15:58
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How about a hybrid:

Use bone tied with sinew for the structural elements, use skin for the weather seal. Look at what primitive peoples built out of animal products, other than size you should able to do something similar with human remains.

At first glance you might say you can't roof the building with bone but you can--a dome.

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