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Concrete walls made from hemp or load-bearing straw bales, bamboo frames, reed coverings and siding, insulation made from straw, hemp, or seagrasses , palm tiles, wicker banisters… The FIBRA Architectures exhibition features more than 50 constructions that have been built across the world using plant fiber materals.
The buildings featured express a frugal modernity that combines the recycling of resources and the use of local expertise, bioclimatic measures and contemporary design. They were selected as part of the FIBRA Award, the first global prize in contemporary, vegetable fiber architecture, created and sponsored by the organization amàco and the architect Dominique Gauzin-Müller. Each one of these 50 projects testifies to the ingeniousness of its architects and engineers, the commitment of its client, and the competencies of the artisans and contractors who all worked together to create a kind of architecture that saves energy and materials.
The exhibition displays these fiber materials, which are endowed with incredible structural capacities and a high level of thermic and hygrometric performance, on tables that explain how the raw materials are transformed, through photographs, 1:1 scale prototypes, and videos of worksites. Visitors are thus immersed among these plant materials while they admire the innovativeness of the creations on display.
In 2015, during COP21, countries committed to fight climate change. The respect of these commitments demands that we strongly reduce the environmental footprint of current and future constructions. Developing new architectural styles that feature bio-sourced materials, artisanal techniques, and new industrial processes is one very promising way of doing so.