The Process

Baytil Ajaib continues to be a restoration in progress. A few of the walls still bear ravages of 300 years or more of an open residence’s exposure to the elements of time and weather.

The effects of living in an old traditional Swahili structure, which possess open and exposed exterior and courtyard walls, are due to the weather meaning principally the sun, rain, heat and moisture, produce all types of patterns and patina’s of various colors rendering an even more authenticity to the time of the building adding even more charm and character. These walls have been carefully preserved to demonstrate to various young artisans the outcome of using inferior materials and slackness of dedication that is needed to preserve these wonderful structures.

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Respect for Baytil Ajaib lead to a serious study into 17th & 18th century restoration endeavors to grasp the true essence of creation of the structures and we continue to work at dispelling many myths that surrounds the materials that were originally used, hat of sand, lime and coral stone. The greatest myth being that lime takes too long to become fest and slows up construction. The fact is that any other materials used in this part of the hemisphere leads to over-heating of buildings to the point of suffocation, non proper air flow and in general just an unpleasant living environment.

The three components named earlier are ideal for construction mainly because they’re porous and breathe. The old structures were like living organisms. The buildings actually breathe. The buildings are in the truest sense ECO to the max! The main substance is Lime. This has been used worldly for thousands of years even with the construction of the pyramids. It’s a wonderful substance to work with that continues to strengthen with times as long as it receives what requires. What is that? Two of the cheapest things.

Air and water. The structures received air naturally and water doing the rainy season. An Explanation: Lime is coral stone burnt at a very high temperature that breaks down into lime. Once the lime is produced and receives water, there is a chemical reaction that takes place and the lime begins to return back to its coral rock state. This can go on for a long time and is called carbonation. Another wonderful feature of lime is that it has malleability properties. If a superficial crack occurs in a structure, it will close itself automatically in the next rainy season. Without saying more, cement is 72% lime!