Architects: R3Architetti

Place: Poirino

Year: 2012

Type: Prototype

Status: Built

Client: Politecnico di Torino


This experimental structure was designed for the after earthquake reconstruction in Haiti: it focuses on minimizing the building costs and on using local resources as the main problem on the island is the access to building materials which are mainly imported from abroad at very high costs.

Load-bearing walls are entirely made of pressed rice-straw bales. The roof structure is made of bamboo and the foundations have a special seismic isolation system that harnesses the elasticity of car tires. This prototype has allowed us to study the construction technology of rice-straw bales for baring walls by creating of a real "slice" of the building as it could have been made in Haiti.

The prototype, which is part of a multidisciplinary project developed in collaboration with the NGO ASF Piedmont, simulates the anti-seismic performance of four buildings that are part of a family home estate. The rice straw and bamboo materials are readily available in Haiti and represent the main structure of the prototype.