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Straw: The Latest Architecture and News

How (And Why) to Integrate Earth and Bamboo Into Your Architectural Project

By recognizing and analyzing the multiple architectural possibilities of bamboo—a construction material mostly native to warm and tropical areas—the following questions arise: How can we take advantage of its qualities and enhance its use in colder climates? Such regions necessarily require a certain level of thermal isolation in walls, floors, and roofs—but for these climates, we can combine bamboo with materials that complement it.

We talked with Penny Livingston-Stark, a designer and professor of permaculture who has worked for 25 years in the field of regenerative design based on non-toxic natural materials, to understand the opportunities offered by combining bamboo with earth.

Earthen construction and bamboo are extremely compatible. They offer different capacities. They compliment each other beautifully. They both require the same conditions, like breathability.

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco + 26

Workshop in Italy Constructs Rammed Earth Structures to Rescue Constructive Traditions

In a 12-day workshop, Building Trust International and Terraepaglia joined the Ciuffelli Agricultural Technical Institute in Todi, Italy, with the aim of exploring a series of construction techniques with raw soil. In addition to producing earth bricks and rammed earth structures -in collaboration with experts such as Eliana Baglioni and Pouya Khazaeli-, a curved wall was erected with a wooden structure and a cane framework, on which a massive layer of earth and straw was spread.

The activity generated a series of internal spaces as a kind of laboratory, to show the construction methods and the materials in situ.

© Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international + 11

1000 Buildings X 1000 Municipalities

The competition topic is the preliminary design of a 40 sm one-floor building, located in an Italian municipality, to be announced later, employing straw bale and timber construction techniques. The building will consist of a single multifunctional area available to different associations to carry out conferences, meetings, and events. The building will be used periodically and in a discontinuous way, thus management costs should be minimized. Thanks to an agreement between Promopaglia and the Municipality of Caino (Italy), the two winning projects will be submitted to the Municipality as part of a public- private partnership in order to achieve their realization.

Georges Batzios Architects Propose Cultural Center Made Entirely of Straw

A proposal from George Batzios Architects for the Konaki Averof Cultural Center in Greece uses a cutting edge, sustainable approach to revive a deeply historical site. The design intertwines elements of architecture and agriculture to refit an existing structure with reference to the Thessalian plains on which it lies. The new architecture recreates the existing envelopes with straw cladding, regenerating the "golden environment" which defined the place in the late 19th century.