Wood poles are ideal for building sturdy structures. They are readily available for the taking in rural areas. Here in the Pacific Northwest, people welcome having the small spindly trees thinned out of their woods. These tall, straight poles are the best, with few branches to trim off and strong close-grained growth. Unlike cut lumber, poles do not warp with seasoning, are stronger than dimensional lumber because the grain is continuous, and knots, checks and twists do not weaken the members --- every pole is #1 select! Exposed poles are aesthetically pleasing, with a natural smoothness and roundness that softens the lines of a building and weathers gracefully.
Then why don't we see more pole buildings? Because with traditional building techniques they are very time-consuming to work with. To custom-fit every wall-board that touches the pole and make a tight weather seal as well can be a real headache! Here is one answer to that dilemma that has many additional advantages: Build a sturdy framework --- walls and ceiling, with poles; stretch stucco wire mesh or chicken wire over the framework then a layer of foam insulation, then another layer of wire; stucco the outside of the walls and plaster the inside of the walls and ceiling, leaving the poles exposed to view; add roofing, windows and doors, and you have a beautiful, tight, well-insulated and maintenance-free dwelling reminiscent of old-world half-timber or fachwerk buildings, at a cost comparable to, or less than, conventional construction.
The rigidity and durability of such a structure is excellent. The stucco shell referred to here is closer to the hard ferrocement used in boat construction than the softer stucco one sometimes sees in need of repair on old buildings. "Ferrocement" refers to a composite building material that combines the high tensile strength of iron (L. Ferrum) with the high compressive strength of concrete. Ferrocement boat hulls have several layers of steel mesh and reinforcing bar to resist cracking from the severe stress and strain they are subjected to. These boat hulls are made thin (usually 1/2 to 1" thick) so they are actually quite flexible. Ferrocement diving boards have even been made! The ferrocement (stucco) skin for a house does not need as much steel in it, since it doesn't need to be so strong and it is made considerably more rigid by the foam backing and the stucco or plaster behind that. The pole framework not only keeps it all rigid, but acts as expansion-joint as well, and it is easiest to analyze the pole structure to satisfy the building department. Therefore a single layer of 1" chicken wire or stucco wire (heavier gauge hexagonal mesh) is sufficient to insure a solid, crack-free wall.