Participatory construction site,
Open FactoryIBA  Thüringen
Apolda,  Germany, 2020

In September 2020 we built, together with residents and visitors, an outdoor sculpture out of rammed earth for the IBA in the Open Factory of Apolda. The design and planning were created on site, inspired by the details and materiality of the factory building that housed us,  Egon Eiermann's architectural icon from the 1930s. In a public workshop over a period of two weeks, we built the formwork and  poured concrete and rammed earth into it. The aim was to set up a participatory construction site, as well as a sculpture open to interpretation, that would enable spontaneous encounters and appropriation in the garden premises of the factory.

Because it is so simple and direct to handle, raw earth enables quick participation. Due to the material’s availability, rammed earth construction is part of the old tradition of self-building. It is also circular and can be returned to the material cycle after mining.

This project combined a construction experiment with a performative intervention in a public space. After a year, the sculpture was dismantled and its material reused in a building conversion.