Eco-home made from straw and wood should please the Three Little Pigs
November 22, 2012
Designed by a group of young French architects from Studio 1984, the “Nest” is a compact home concept that is reminiscent of a traditional barn. The eco-home, which was conceived as part of the Archi<20 competition for low-cost, environmentally-friendly architecture in France, incorporates a simple quadratic structure that has been built using pastoral materials such as straw and wood.
“We were looking for the best way to integrate our pavilion in a very protected natural site,” Studio 1984 architect Romain Gié told Gizmag. “Our imaginary led us to take interest in vernacular buildings protected by straw bales.”
The entire Nest pavilion, which took three weeks to build, has been constructed using materials that are recyclable and/or reusable. The structure is situated on an acacia wood frame, with the intention of leaving very little impact on the site when the building is removed.
“We tried to use local materials such as wood and straw,” said Gié. “[And] each wood species was selected for its specificities: Douglas wood for the structure, larch wood for the joinery, pine wood for the interior finishing and acacia wood for foundations.”
Furthermore, the Nest’s external walling of straw bales not only blends the pavilion into its environment but also doubles as a great solution for insulation. The elevated roof design allows efficient under-roof ventilation, preventing the structure from overheating during the warmer months. “Thirty-five cm (13.75 inches) of uninterrupted insulation straw with high performances joineries gives a very good winter comfort,” explained Gié. “And the building’s 6-ton [6.7-short ton/6.1-tonne] mass allows for very good thermal regulation in summer and winter.”
Inside the Nest, the space is simple and open, allowing for a quiet retreat with the barest of necessities. A large open glass window opens out onto the surrounding landscape, while a long side window has perhaps been designed with bird-watching in mind. With the addition of a kitchen and bathroom, the concept could easily be transformed into a great tiny home, backyard studio or nature retreat. Not surprisingly, the structure’s relationship with nature is a favorite feature of the creators.
“One of our favorite designs is the large window opening on the surroundings. The joinery is invisible from the inside and gives quite an impressive feeling to who chills inside the pavilion,” said Gié.
The Nest prototype reflects Studio 1984’s commitment to simple architecture and supports the development of further small and sustainable structures. “The enthusiasm in tiny houses is an illustration of a shared aspiration for a more sustainable use of space and natural resources,” said Gié. “Tiny houses represent our desire to produce a modest but qualitative and responsible architecture.”
The Nest will go on to be used as a public facility in Muttersholtz, France, where the exterior straw will receive an earth and lime coating. While the coating is perhaps more practical and will offer longevity to the structure, unfortunately the pavilion will lose its haystack appeal!