Five architecture students were building a house with their own hands on this day in 1977. The project would contribute to each of their degrees and save the owner more than $10,000.
The students had thoroughly researched building techniques and decided to support the roof of the house on lengths of telegraph poles.
They would make the walls from a double layer of mud bricks, which they compressed with a 20-tonne force generated by a Cinva ram from Colombia.
The Cinva ram was a one-man operated, 60 kilogram "marvellous invention", according to the students' mentor, Mr John Favre. The students had already made 2000 bricks, needing 1500 more.
Their client was John Durst, a teacher at Phillip College. By the time the house was complete, he would have paid about $15,000. "It would have cost $25,000 normally, especially after sub-contractors had their rip-off", he said.
After the students finished the house, they would hand it over to Mr Durst, who would style it into an "autonomous" dwelling, so it would need only wind, rain and the slope of the land to run. He would install a windmill generator for electricity, trap rain water in tanks, and use solar power to heat his water.
The students would receive about $7,000 as profit, part of which would enable them to go overseas to continue their studies.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.