| Author: Kuralay Yesmukhanova
| Instructors: Barry Wark, Maria Knuttson-Hall
| Oxford Brookes University
| The Site
Seville is the major city of the Andalusian community. With the population of 1.5 million people (2011 census), it is the fourth largest city in Spain. It traces its story back to the Roman Empire and it was founded in 712 anno domini.
The chosen site for the pavilion is allocated in a roadside park, east from the Royal Gardens.There are business and educational institutions close to the area (50-100 m). The local university has attempted to build a library (designed by Zaha Hadid architects) in the nearest park. However, the locals were against it as the library would destroy the landscape and the public space. Consequently, the construction has been stopped. The pavilion attempts to provide accommodation for the reading activity and book-sharing in order to partially fulfill the university needs.
Most of the trees around the proposal area are almond trees. This made me to have a closer look at the tree and its flowers and seeds.
In the beginning, the almond seeds are relatively soft and have no holes. By the end of the growing stage, the shell gets harder and creates holes. When the seed is dropped to the ground, the holes help to the seed crack and let the soil and water in, and the seed outside. I got interested in this concept and applied it to my project:
The outer wall shall consist of soil and provide sound insulation (rammed earth technique). The inner part should be built from rocks or alike material to provide comfort to the user. Both parts should interact each other through cracks, like in the almond shell.
What is rammed earth?
Rammed earth is an ancient construction method, evolved independently in the Middle East, China and North Africa. The suitable soil mix is compacted between vertical formwork (wood, metal). Afterwards, the formwork is removed, leaving a mass soil wall.
Why rammed earth?
- Design- Rammed earth material visually suits my design concept. It might have various shapes, depending on the formwork used.
- Thermal mass- Earth has a great thermal mass potential. It will keep the pavilion cold in the hot daytime, and release the heat during the night time.
- Cost and environment- It is cheap and biodegradable. Pavilions are temporary constructions, their demolition might cause additional costs for re-cycling the rubbish.
The next stage was to go back to the original point and design the spaces for reading alone and in groups. I have selected the most common people seating patterns and defined the capsules according to their body shapes. The final pavilion iteration combines and considers both the people and integration to the landscape.
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