As a Studio, we aim to work with low impact materials and processes in an extra-ordinary and cost efficient method. Part of this is to work as a single team throughout the project design and construction. By way of example, we have outlined the innovations we have made at the Discovery Centre at Hauxley, Druridge Bay. At the end of the project we will evaluate how these approaches have worked out.
A) Strategy for construction based on zero concrete foundations, loose fill gabions, earth floors, load bearing straw bale walls, infill straw bale walls and timber framed roof through hybrid construction.
1. All these technologies can be mastered by initially unskilled people.
2. Materials are locally sourced as much as we can
3. All constructions can be de-constructed.
1. Historic precedent – hogging brought into 21st century through the use of geotextile which
accommodates the site specifics informed by bore hole data and the subterranean risk assessment of the
previous mining works, the filled site and trees.
C) Straw bale load bearing construction – specifically the surface finishes
1. based on research of context and global information – first in UK as far as research found to ‘proof’ the construction through interpretation of globally available codes and design criteria.
D) Straw bale shape / form – First 135 degree Corner
1. uncommon straw bale shape whilst more common for a variety of buildings, helping to lock the design
potential of straw bale buildings.
E) Structural use of gabions
1. based on research of context, global information and English use of gabions, an innovation to use
gabions as structural support for enclosed spaces.
F) Structural use of tree trunks in the round
1. based on research of methodologies to utilise timber in the round in lieu of stress graded wood.
G) Zero concrete construction
1. Timber in the round foundation based on historic precedent and geological mass foundation – the
1. As far as research shows a unique hybrid of constructions conforming to Building Control through more direct engineering proof rather than empirical / experience assessment.
2. Enabling re-use of methodology and diversification of knowledge.