A group of architectural students built a cordwood organic vegetable processing shop in Sweden. Photos and some of the details are included in this article. The AES group built a completely recycled cordwood building in Sweden. Anna Sundman of AES writes, “We designed and built a cordwood building to suit the needs of the newly established social enterprise Eko-Odlarna. They cultivate organic produce on a small plot of land on the outskirts of Östertälje, Sweden.”
Information about AES: Architectural Environmental Strategies is a non-profit organization working within the field of architecture, planning and sustainable development. The projects we engage in range from interdisciplinary academic work through studies in the field to practical action. Thank you to Olle Hagman for making me aware of this incredible project.
I think it is one of the most beautiful cordwood houses in Sweden, or cobwood, actually. It should be since they were 15-20 young and freshly educated architects! Most of the material was donated to them. That included the windows which were all used, and in odd sizes. The mortar was cob. The clay was taken locally and they made a test to find the best mix of clay and sand. Still, after the first days, they found out they had to keep the joints thin to reduce shrinking and cracking. The floor was treated with linen oil. -Olle Hagman
The students met daily to decide on how to build and what to change. It was a democratic process that brought out the best ideas for this cobwood building. The cobwood mortar was cracking and so they decided to use much narrower mortar joints and it worked.
Anna Sundman (the director of the project) said, “Thanks for the lovely comments on the design! It was achieved through a great collaborative effort. If you wish to read more of the process we made a booklet that is free to download. For the very keen collectors, there may also be some printed copies left. “Design and Build with Cordwood.”
Here is some information from the site. This workshop was part of a larger set of workshops held throughout Europe to build and experiment with natural building styles called “The BIØN, an Erasmus Learn+ programme.” This cordwood/cobwood building will be the subject of a follow-up and review in the summer of 2021. https://aesstudio.org/2018/04/07/read-the-documentation-from-the-cordwood-workshop/?fbclid=IwAR1Jkj3a7AlsuBG9Y2-MdMEVnjvI_sLr9fF2Im-b3aBMSp64Hx7ppis6XsM
The vegetable shop storage floor.
The architectural rendering.
Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format. If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at email@example.com
Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:
“Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005, 2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders. Cordwood Construction: Best Practices and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 and Cordwood Workshop DVD are the latest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore. www.cordwoodconstruction.org
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