Ensamble Studio is back for an encore performance with this bizarre cow-eaten concrete home, finally finished and ready to be a real living space if you can stomach staying inside chewed-out architecture.
In case you can’t recall (though twice should be enough for it to stick!), the construction of this strange little abode began with the digging of a pit, followed by the introduction of a series of hay bales subsequently surrounded with poured concrete.
Archi-truffle? Truffle-tecture? Hard to see either of those taking off with mainstream consumers (of hay or otherwise), but very creative nonetheless – with models, drawings and new photographs to prove it (bed, sink, fireplace and all).
So what drove the design? “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.”
And where did the cow come in? “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.”
About Ensamble Studio:
“Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team founded in 2000 and led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house. From their early works –SGAE Headquarters, Hemeroscopium House or The Truffle in Spain– to their most recent –Ensamble Fabrica in Madrid and Ca’n Terra in Menorca, Spain–, every project makes space for experimentation aiming to advance their field. Currently, through their startup WoHo, they are invested in increasing the quality of architecture while making it more affordable by integrating offsite technologies.”