CollaboratorRICARD PAU





From the experience of building and living in the first shelter, we learnt two things: the next shelter should be more open -we already have an interior- and it should be lighter than the first one! We need to give our guests a place to be sheltered but feeling the outdoors, and a place to wash themselves and gather under the blue Priorat sky. This is the first instalment of our BIY 40x40 system.

Days and nights of observation, gathering information, needs arising. Erosion of the former vineyards is a growing problem due to the increasingly severe seasonal droughts. Could this shelter contribute to mitigate and reverse this?

Most of our first guests suggested that it would be good to have an outdoors structure where people could work, eat and gather to enjoy sunny days.

After building the first shelter, we take some time to experience what is lacking and what is potentially on site.

The first shelter is an interior. We can give some shelter to enjoy the elements in a more direct way.

A place to rest, write, talk, or just contemplate, nature -and our nature.

After the exhausting experience of building the first shelter, a really light and easy to transport material is essential.

We will also look for material sources that are closer than the first one.

The steep terrain needs a very adaptable system to get flat, comfortable surfaces.

We will place the second shelter on an eroded part of the site. Its presence should manure the soil, so when we leave it is healthier and full of life.

In order to do so, we will move the shelter once a year to improve as much soil surface as possible.

(…) The soil is always protected from the direct action of sun, rain, and wind. In this care of the soil strict economy is the watchword: nothing is lost. The whole of the energy of sunlight is made use of by the foliage of the forest canopy and of the undergrowth. The leaves also break up the rainfall into fine spray so that it can the more easily be dealt with by the litter of plant and animal remains which provide the last line of defence of the precious soil. These methods of protection, so effective in dealing with sun and rain, also reduce the power of the strongest winds to a gentle air current.

The forest manures itself. It makes its own humus and supplies itself with minerals. If we watch a piece of woodland we find that a gentle accumulation of mixed vegetable and animal residues is constantly taking place on the ground and that these wastes are being converted by fungi and bacteria into humus. The processes involved in the early stages of this transformation depend throughout on oxidation: afterwards they take place in the absence of air. They are sanitary. There is no nuisance of any kind — no smell, no flies, no dustbins, no incinerators, no artificial sewage system, no water-borne diseases, no town councils, and no rates. On the contrary, the forest affords a place for the ideal summer holiday: sufficient shade and an abundance of pure fresh air. Nevertheless, all over the surface of the woods the conversion of vegetable and animal wastes into humus is never so rapid and so intense as during the holiday months — July to September. (…)

Albert Howard

July 2019

July 2019

July 2019

July 2019

July 2019

July 2019

July 2019

July 2020

July 2020

July 2020


Search questions

As a consequence of our search as architects, we also produce understanding and knowledge made of words -written and spoken. This search revolves around twelve constant themes, questions we don’t have a definitive answer to yet. This knowledge is not just a by-product of our activity, but rather an instrumental part that develops simultaneously and is imbricated in building. Search Questions is our sisyphean effort to organize and share this knowledge while it's blossoming, fragile and unstable. By doing so, a more specific understanding, and more refined questions emerge.

1. Pequeñas Cabañas BIY

An exploration on children's innate drive and ability to build, and some huts that they can build together with grown-ups. Published by Editorial Gustavo Gili.

2. Endless beginnings

Graduation Ceremony. AAA. Aarhus, Denmark. September 2020.

Journal paper
3. OE House

ARQ 94. Universidad Católica de Chile. With Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau.

4. Open Process Ecosystems

Beyond Product Platforms for multi-storey habitats design and manufacturing. With Duncan Maxwell.

5. Subrural

An incipient theory of the subrural, first published in Catalan in AT magazine, edited by Nuria Casais and Ferran Grau.