Author: Robin Papp

Embracing the Air: The Sensory Experience of Hemp-Lime Architecture

Studio: MArch Thesis

Advisor: Sheryl Boyle

Year: 2020-2021

Project Description

This research explores the multi-sensory properties of hemp-lime construction as an antidote to the overly visual experience of contemporary architecture. The project begins design from the material and elaborates on the senses involved with the dynamics of hemp walls: the airy trio of humidity, thermal and sound. By dissolving the complexity of a conventional wall, where the layers act separately, it is compared to a hemp-lime composition – which acts in unison. Throughout, the research strives to be environmentally responsible with methods of construction that consider the life-cycle of the material; from the conception of a carbon-negative product to the built experience, and to its afterlife of being recycled or fully decomposed. Alongside the historical significance of hemp and lime, the project works at crafting a space of reverence, located in the sacred site of St Raphael’s Cemetery (Ontario), that cleanses the occupant’s senses through materiality.