TerraFibra architectures

Ecole et résidence pour enseignants, Fass, Kaolack, Sénégal
Toshiki Mori Architect ©Iwan Baan

Bringing together earth and plant fibers emphasizes the mixed use of materials and reaffirms the importance of constructive intelligence, which aims to use the right quantity of the right material in the right place. Highlighting this complementary use of materials also helps avoid the pitfalls of any material value chain centered on a single technical solution, which is a model that is woefully inadequate and particularly polluting.

The TerraFibra Architectures event confirms that environmentally-friendly practices exist throughout the world, in highly diverse contexts. The actors involved in these projects are enthusiastic, passionate, and generous. They make the use of bio- and geo-sourced materials credible industry-wide and highlight the key economic, social, and environmental aspects of their projects and their commitments. They demonstrate that it is possible to construct buildings differently, drawing on local resources and know-how, without giving up innovation. Well-grounded in their territory, these frugal and creative architectures open up new horizons in construction and renovation.

Dominique Gauzin-Müller and Anne Lambert, curators of the exhibition, and the team TERRAFIBRA Award

Exhibition from 30 March until 22 April 2023

EPFL, foyer SG building (level 2)
Open Monday to Friday from 8h to 19h, Saturday from 14h to 18h

Wednesday 5 April at 12h, foyer SG
Guided tour with Alia Bengana.

Tuesday 18 April 18h, foyer SG
Discussion with Alia Bengana, Elsa Cauderey (collectif CArPE), Laurent de Wurstemberger (Terrabloc), Mattia Pretolani (Ellipsearchitecture) and Dominique Gauzin-Müller, TerraFibra Award.

Exhibition co-produced by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Centre d’urbanisme et d’architecture de Paris et de la Métropole parisienne, amàco and Les Grands Ateliers, in partnership with the University of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR) and Archizoom EPFL.

The exhibition unveils the 40 finalist buildings of the TERRAFIBRA Award 2021, the world’s first prize for contemporary architecture in raw earth and/or plant fibres. Building in rammed earth, clay-based concrete, cob, adobe, pressed earth block, straw, or earth and hemp, bamboo framing, reed roofing… the exhibition presents these international projects and explains, through a thematic tour, the qualities and advantages of these materials and the techniques, both ancient and innovative, which implement them.

The exhibition is accompanied by prototypes of earth and straw constructions made by students in the context of the Joint Master of Architecture of the HEIA-FR and the ALICE lab at EPFL.