How is the modeling of organic architecture

Organic architecture

How can the spirit of a place get into a building to be redesigned? How can an anthroposophical design succeed that connects all human beings with the essential members of the place? Which method of creation helps to build the strength of the person and the location? I tried to give answers to these questions through the process of organically designed residential construction of the family villa in El Palol in northern Spain.

The building is located in a fertile lowland in Catalonia on the Fluvia River, 9 km from the Mediterranean Sea, in the immediate vicinity of an old monastery. It is located in an agricultural forest park with a view of the Fluvia River. The owners operate most of their 70 hectare property ecologically. Mainly olives, lentils, peas, chickpeas and vegetables are grown. The owner wanted a healthy house made from local materials. The investor's family wants to build more new ecological bungalows on the southern and southeastern edge of the monastery grounds and a gym for those interested in ecological upbringing and holistic lifelong education. All new buildings will have green roofs and will be built from natural building materials.

(1) The roof protrudes far over the south side and protects the limestone façade
(2) Dining room on the ground floor with a wall made of closely collected stones and paintings by the client
(3) Organic total work of art: From the handcrafted wooden floor to the sweeping roof
(4) The villa, to the left of the old Catalan monastery, is the first new building. This is followed by an eco hotel with a bathroom and rooms for a lifelong holistic education

Local and organic

The house was built from local natural building materials: wood from the nearby Pyrenees and stone and clay from the property. The stones for the underpinning and the inner stone wall were collected on the property and partially split. In the past, local villages were also built from these stones. The shapes of the house have an organic character. The owner wished they weren't overwhelming and not sharp. The rounded shapes of the walls and ceilings should appear gentle and soft on people. The house also ties in with the shape and slope of the terrain. About 100 m west of the house is a cave with an abundant source of drinking water. The monks had enclosed the water flowing out in a cascade of artificial ponds. One of them is now next to the house and is a swimming pond.

Plastic design

At the beginning of the project, I made sure that the customer can connect with the building land as deeply as possible, mentally and spiritually. Together with her family members, we walked around the entire property in three days. In the corners of the property she added new boundary stones to the original ones. Then I created a landscape model for the investor, with a river and all the adjacent fields and meadows that are cultivated by her. We were then able to use the new buildings in the slightly undulating terrain with greater sensitivity. I had her and her son modeled directly into the concrete building model. I helped them to creatively model lively, plastic forms that reflect the character of the landscape, the shape of the location and the client's imaginative image.

We modeled the model piece by piece from natural plasticine, shaped and refined it. The sculptural design helps the client to find his idea of ​​the future shape of the house. Visual ideas arise and the client can meet his own imagination. As the modeling deepens, intuition and inspiration gradually emerge. Completely new impulses for form appear. In this project, for example, the shapes of the roof overhangs and the balcony overhang. After the model was ready, we scanned its final shape with a 3D scanner.

(1) Inspired by Feng Shui: The entrance is to the north, behind it the spacious entrance hall
(2) The building is constructed from wood from the nearby Pyrenees
(3) Unburned clay blocks form the inner shell and create a pleasant room climate with the clay plaster and oiled oak wood
(4) Largest of three bedrooms on the first floor
(5) Guest bathroom with fittings in Tadelakt

Manual implementation

The demanding, complicated house shapes were able to be produced by the executing companies thanks to the well-worked implementation documentation. Realizing the house was fun for everyone. and the homeowner was very pleased. It was difficult to technically implement the lively shaped facade. Ultimately, together with a team of Spanish and German natural builders, I chose several layers of wooden lamellas. A layer of coconut fiber mats was stapled onto this. The mats serve as a carrier for the three-layer external plaster made of local clay and local sand. The first layer is pure clay. The second contains 10% lime as an additive. And the third layer is 30% lime. In this way, the facade retained the color and material character of the local clay and remained rainproof.

Organism house

The wider side of the house faces south. The large roof overhangs should shade it well. According to the basic principles of Feng Shui, the entrance hall is spacious and the spiral staircase to the first floor is large. Entrances, halls and stairwells are places where the house “inhales”. The shape of the house floor plan was also influenced by the requirement for harmonious proportions. The house depth and width are in relation to the golden section - 10 m x 16.6 m.

“The aim was to create a building with feeling and in harmony with nature. He speaks to the human soul through the use of living, organic forms. "

Because of the hot Spanish climate, the house has a green roof that absorbs a lot of summer heat. The wooden pergola with climbing plants helps to shade the south-facing terrace on the ground floor. The unfired clay blocks store the warmth of the wall heating in winter and the coolness of the night ventilation in summer. Even during the summer it is pleasantly cool in the house during the day. You can sleep and regenerate wonderfully here. This is mainly due to the natural surfaces without paint and without plastic. The clay plaster maintains a pleasant microclimate in the house. This means that the air contains enough free negative ions. The two open chimneys and the small pond next to the house also help to create them. In the interior you can smell the natural oak woods and sometimes, mostly in the evening, a breath of the scent of the sea penetrates the house.

Construction dates family villa in El Palol, Spain

Architecture + craft