CATTAIL CABIN
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Photography: Henny van Belkom

Pioneering with new biobased building materials from wet agriculture

Since the Middle Ages, peat areas in the Netherlands have been "dewatered" for

agriculture and housing by means of canals, ditches and drainage. Because peat soils

settle in contact with oxygen, the soil beneath our feet has decreased significantly over the centuries. In recent years, this process has accelerated due to global warming, which is slowly but surely causing major problems: houses are subsiding, the soil is becoming salinized and, bitterly enough, the release of enormous amounts of extra greenhouse gas.

An important means of combating land subsidence is to raise water levels. However,

this makes the cultivation of many traditional crops impossible. But there are

alternatives, such as cattail and reed, which can be processed into bio-based building

materials. Because building with these types of materials is still in its infancy, and the

demand for them is therefore limited, the Veenweide Innovation Center (VIC) and the

province of South Holland have commissioned us to investigate their potential in

practice. The first result is a mobile, pure cabin, in which experiments with cattail,

mycelium hemp and black alder were carried out.

In this process it has once again become clear to us that today, within tight production chains, architecture can (again) connect much more with the landscape, with the ground under our feet. Designing and building with locally produced bio-based materials will not only create healthy homes, but will breathe new life into outdated spatial systems. For us, herein lies the fun and meaning of our profession.

Architect

 

Project Architect

Contractor

Suppliers

Delivery

Daniël Venneman

Arthur van der Lee

Leen Bogerd

Liberté Tiny Houses

Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven

Stichting Wetland Products

2020

Construction

Isolation

Roofing

Facade

Window frames

Interior walls

Interior floor

timber frame (pine, douglas)

cattail

glass, EPDM

black alder

aluminium

clay plaster, bio laminate

black alder

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