Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst and Studio Anna Heringer
Photo courtesy of Pauline Semon, Stefano Mori
Omicron living rooms
Fair trade meets regionalism. The project, 3 sculptures that serve as meeting rooms for the workers, is a commitment to support craftsmanship locally as well as in Bangladesh and in India. The aim is to create an atmospheric space of high quality for the employees of Omicron, and at the same time to make a social economic impact by involving a high amount of local craftsmanship and development organization from the global South.
The 3 sculptures can be seen as living rooms for the companies employees, to have meetings in a comfortable poetic atmosphere to retreat, contemplate, meditate, brainstorm, to have a coffee break, to chat.
The monolith is the most experimental structure of these 3. It is an attempt to bring the most basic building earth technique, zabur, as it is used in Ghana for example into Austrian laws and regulation systems. It is a two stories structure with only 15 centimeters thick and unstabilized clay walls including a load bearing clay dome. The Austrian regulations unfortunately lead, besides a steel foundation, to an addition of two horizontal steel rings as well as a ring for the central light opening. The rest of the monolith is layer by layer shaped by hand.
The zeppelin is a meeting room up in the air that glooms in the night and illuminates the space. Through the silky skin the atmosphere inside is very soft and poetic, in dialogue with the rich patterned textiles from Bangladesh the space will touch the senses in a very subtile way. The structure is made by timber, covered by an outside layer of handwoven non-violent silk from a leprosy project in India called Little Flower. The pool formed out of a landscape of earth is filled with a dozen of pillows from Bangladesh that we’ve made in cooperation with the NGO Dipshikha. It is a playful and communicative area where pillow fights will possibly be happening, same as a snooze in a pile of silky cushions.
Materials: clay as load bearing earth walls and as plaster, which also has a positive influence on the indoor climate. Local timber. Locally made ceramics. Hand-stitched and printed cushions from women in Rudrapur, Bangladesh. Hand-woven silk from Little Flower.
Martin Rauch (Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst)
Over the course of three decades of research into theory and practice, Martin Rauch (b. 1958, Austria) has elevated traditional rammed earth techniques to a new level – both in terms of aesthetics and technology. As a leader in his field he has designed, planned and realized numerous domestic and international projects. His work has been widely published and he has received a number of awards such as the Plischke Award, a Holcim Regional Award – Bronze and a Fassa Bortolo Award. Since 2010 Rauch has held a UNESCO honorary professorship Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development. He is currently teaching design studio courses at the ETH Zurich.
Anna Heringer (b. 1977, Germany) is an architect and honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development. Her diploma work, the METI School, won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. Since then Heringer has realized further projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe. She has been a visiting professor and teaching design courses at universities in Stuttgart, Linz, TU Vienna, the ETH Zurich and TU Munich. She has received numerous honors, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s GSD, the AR Emerging Architecture Award (twice) and a RIBA International Fellowship.
Main projects Lehm Ton Erde:
– Haus Rauch, Architecture: Roger Boltshauser and Martin Rauch
– Ricola Kräuterzentrum (Herb Center), Architecture: Herzog & de Meuron, Facade planning
Main projects Anna Heringer:
– METI school, Bangladesh
– DESI Centre, Bangladesh
– Bamboo Hostels, China
– Kindergarten, Zimbabwe
– Didi Textiles
– Omicron Monolith
– Teaching Centre, Morocco
Project selected for Archmarathon: Omicron living rooms