Author: Brooke Zacharuk

Architecture in Time

Course: ARCC 5500 – MArch – Advanced Building Systems

Professor: Jerry Hacker

Year: Fall 2019

Project Description

Can we grow a building? Can architecture exist within the natural process of growth and decay to create healthy, breathable, and biodegradable buildings that tread lightly on the planet and foster positive psychological benefits? This project capitalizes on compressed earth block to suggest a future where materials are grown rather than extracted to protect the planet for future generations. The intervention asks us to question our relationship to time. Embracing buildings decay reconnects us to nature’s cycles.

The compressed earth block envelope creates a new interstitial space filled with bamboo. The perforations in the envelope bring dappled light into the interior to highlight the experience of time as light and shadow change throughout the day. The water growing the bamboo reflects the sky above, accentuating the space’s ephemerality. Bridges extend into the new space between old and new to create peaceful places to practice mindfulness throughout the day. 

The earth envelope, heavy timber structure, and bamboo vegetation come from the earth and can return to the earth after the building’s life. The project suggests a new paradigm where we grow our buildings and explore a new pedagogy of biotechnology in architectural education.