...........................AgRiTectUrE............................................................................................................................................................................................


 
 

Fact sheet

PROJECT :
Water buffalo agritecture

SITE :
N/A

PROGRAM :
Water buffalo construction micro-factory

STATUS :
Study

SIZE : 30m²

 

 

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BaO was invited in a competition in 2008 asking architects to design new housing in Sichuan made of industrial prefabricated systems. Looking at what industrial building systems were proposed by the organizers and after reassessing the basic question of how should/could we rebuild the earthquake hit areas and the "new chinese countryside", we decided to reconsider the very topic of the competition.

Departing from the equation : Industry = efficiency = tools, we decided that instead of designing a house, we'd rather design an industry, a mobile factory or let's say more simply a 'building tool' instead of a building. We reject the fascist solution of the so-called "model" and propose to design means and "processes" instead. Architectural rebuilding should trigger local economical rebuilding, using prefab materials from far away although being efficient and quick, has no long term positive effect. Our project advocates the use of local matter, know-how and resources instead of imported industrial products.

The WABU is a tool, a micro factory-line for DIY sustainable and earthquake resistant rammed earth constructions. Inspired by agricultural engineering techniques, we found the perfect power source : the good old water buffalo, the number one agricultural power of all of south China.

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: : Under design development ! WABU coming soon : :

:: WAter BUffalo agri-tecture ::

In reaction to the frenetic brick-ification and concrete-isation threatening chinese earth building tradition to completely dissapear, we investigated new ways of producing earthquake resistant rammed earth buildings. Earth is available, free or cheap, sustainable by definition, structurally very resistant and climatically very efficient. The main disadvantage is clearly the hard labour it implies and the overall slowness it imposes upon on-site works. Our project proposes to find ways of "industrializing" this process. The WABU is basically designed as a factory line that enables fast, economical and effortless construction of rammed earth walls. We, as architects, instead of offering a housing model, solely propose a constructive process with which the inhabitants and DIY builders will be able to produce their own living spaces.

Agricultural engineering
"developed for centuries clever, simple and very efficient tools to manage and cultivate natural resources. Small devices powered by man or animals enable to process and transform local matter with less hard labour."

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Water buffalo
"The water buffalo is the classic work animal of Asia, an integral part of that continent traditional village farming structure. Probably the most adaptable and versatile of all work animals, it is widely used to plow, level land, plant crops, puddle rice fields, cultivate field crops, pump water, haul carts, sleds ; and shallow-draft boats, carry people, thresh grain,press sugar cane, haul logs, and much more. Even today, water buffalo provide 20-30 percent of the farm power in South China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Indochina."
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WABU
Wall Assembling Buffalo Unit