straw as structure?
Felix Jerusalem’s design for a home in Eschenz, CH takes a fairly old material and repurposes it nicely for a contemporary architecture. With the exception of a concrete core, all of the load bearing elements are compressed straw panels with a inexpensive plastic sheathing. What’s remarkable is not only the load that straw can carry, but it’s a significantly better insulator than timber, so the assembly is both a structural element and the main insulator of the house. For those of you who aren’t familiar with building technology, there are a few other materials that can do this (concrete, rammed earth, adobe) but typically they are very difficult to assemble and you need a set of specialists… which is usually expensive. This technology is economical, efficient, and easy to construct, providing an interesting model for construction in areas with lots of straw.