Federico Cairoli

Earth, Clay and Context

Join us on 29 September at 14:00 (Brazil)/19:00 (Switzerland) for a discussion, organized with Insight Architecture, on the use of earth and clay in modern architecture, showing the shift from spectacular to vernacular architecture.

Shift from spectacular architecture to vernacular architecture

Different civilizations in different parts of the world have been building with earth and clay for many centuries. Modern life and the current globalized world, though, have taken this material to a peripheral role in our cities. Its properties of climate and humidity regulation, its connection with the place where we build and its cultural traditions have been basically vanished through the appearance of other construction techniques and cheap energy in the 20th century. But this story seems to have an inflection point. The 27th World Congress of Architects UIA2021RIO brought strong voices advocating for a different kind of architecture – a shift from spectacular architecture to vernacular architecture. This debate is part of the complementary activities of the UIA2021RIO and intends to stress this discussion further, through the dialogue between prominent international architects, whose work is deeply connected with earthen architecture and biological materials. Martin Rauch and Fernando Minto will share their experience working primarily with earth and earth-based materials in such different contexts as Brazil and Europe.

Over the past 10 years, Martin Rauch has been intensively involved in the mechanical prefabrication of rammed earth building components. For this purpose, a worldwide unique process was developed to produce prefabricated rammed earth components in high homogeneous quality. This process has already been used in several large-scale projects on site and with local raw materials. The experience gained in these large-scale projects was integrated into the ERDEN factory workshop at the new production site in Schlins (Austria) by means of a production infrastructure customized for rammed earth construction. The ERDEN Werkhalle is a pioneering production facility for the industrial manufacture of rammed earth building elements.

The architecture and construction with earth in Brazil has been the object of increased interest. Gradually, research centers and private companies invest more resources for its repositioning in the current scenario compared to more conventional techniques. In this webinar, Fernando Minto will discuss the specificities of this modality in Brazil and the main characteristics that surround it in its territory, both in environmental and climatic aspects as well as in social aspects, including the current insertion in the construction market.

To explore these topics, Insight Architecture and Swissnex in Brazil invite Martin Rauch (Austria), founder of Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst and Fernando Minto (Brazil), professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro UFRJ to this webinar. They will present their work and discuss the challenges and opportunities they see in earthen architecture for the future of our cities. Igor de Vetyemy, architect and president of the Brazilian Institute of Architects in Rio de Janeiro IAB will moderate the conversation. The event will be held in English and Portuguese, with simultaneous translation to both languages. The webinar is part of the Insight Architecture’s Future Now event, which investigates the use of sustainable materials and new construction techniques such as digital fabrication in architecture as part of the 27th World Congress of Architects UIA 2021 Rio calendar.



This webinar is organized in partnership with Insight Architecture.