Workshop by Terrapia (adobe bricks)

The workshop on October 4th invites participants to (re)discover the technique of manufacturing adobe bricks (văiugă). Also known as chirpici or unburned brick, it is one of the oldest methods of construction in Romania – and not only. Using only natural materials – earth, sand, straw, water – most often obtained locally, adobe is the basis for countless buildings spread from the region of Banat to the outflow of the Danube into the Sea. Over time, the technique has come to be associated with the vernacular and with old houses; in the current context of the construction domain, with an increasing emphasis on building materials’ industrialization and speed, it is often bypassed.

The workshop proposed by Atelier TERRApia, through facilitator architect Lidia Păcurar, invites to reanalyze the use of earthen bricks in the current context – starting, in this case, by demonstrating the ease of manufacture and the ubiquitous access to the techniques and materials used. The participants will be able to carry out themselves the first steps in the usual course of adobe construction, namely to go through the whole process of making the bricks – from preparing the soil mixture to pouring into molds and preparing the bricks for drying. The bricks made will remain as part of the Beta 2020 exhibition.

Lidia Păcurar is an architect actively involved in NGOs and projects dealing with participatory architecture and design, patrimony preservation and sustainable natural buildings. She has undergone formation programs on earthen techniques, is one of the founding members of the non-governmental organization Asociația În comunitate, a full-time architect dealing with buildings and projects from a residential to an industrial and an urbanistic scale and partner of TERRApia for natural material-based workshops.

TERRApia, the initiator of the adobe workshop, is a team of two architects, Alina Negru and Alessandro Serra, who explore the potential of earth as a construction material and promote its relevance for the Romanian crafted architecture. Their main challenges are the adaptation of the rural constructive practices to the contemporary building realities and the recovery and diffusion of local technical knowledge with earth, in order to improve the quality of living of of the earthen homeowners.