Ensamble Studio. Truffle

Truffle project by ENSAMBLE STUDIO
Location: Spain – Laxe. Year: 2006- 2010. Status: Built

La Trufa (The Truffle) is the brilliant result of an unusual design exercise involving straw bales, in-situ concrete and a cow called Paulina. Intended as a weekend retreat, the rock-like structure is perched on the Costa da Morte in north-west Spain.

Here’s the full story from the architect ANTÓN GARCÍA-ABRIL of ENSAMBLE STUDIO:

The Truffle is a piece of nature built with earth, full of air. A  space within a stone that sits on the ground and blends with the  territory. It camouflages, by emulating the processes of mineral  formation in its structure, and integrates with the natural environment,  complying with its laws.

To build it, we made a hole in the ground, piling up on its perimeter  the topsoil removed, and we obtained a retaining dike without  mechanical consistency. Then, we materialized the air building a volume  with hay bales and flooded the space between the earth and the built air  to solidify it. The poured mass concrete wrapped the air and protected  itself with the ground. Time passed and we removed the earth discovering  an amorphous mass.

The earth and the concrete exchanged their properties. The land  provided the concrete with its texture and color, its form and its  essence, and concrete gave the earth its strength and internal  structure. But what we had created was not yet architecture, we had  fabricated a stone.

We made a few cuts using quarry machinery to explore its core and  discovered its mass inside built with hay, now compressed by the  hydrostatic pressure exerted by concrete on the flimsy vegetable  structure. To empty the interior, the calf Paulina arrived, and enjoyed  the 50m3 of the nicest food, from which she nourished for a year until  she left her habitat, already as an adult and weighing 300 kilos. She  had eaten the interior volume, and space appeared for the first time,  restoring the architectural condition of the truffle after having been a  shelter for the animal and the vegetable mass for a long time.

“La trufa / The truffle” has been featured widely. However, today, I stumbled upon the video documentation showing the construction process of the project and I’ve been blown away. Additionally I suggest you to watch ANTÓN GARCÍA-ABRIL interviewed by HANS ULRICH OBRIST at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010.

2 commentaires pour “Ensamble Studio. Truffle”

  1. trop fort !!!

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