Research module (Part II): Summer School

Research module (Part II): Summer School

From 10 to 20 August 2020, the Department of Architectural Theory and Research at RWTH Aachen University, under the direction of Prof. Axel Sowa, organised a summer school on sustainable building with clay and earth in the Hoogcruts monastery not far from the Dutch municipality of Gulpen. 20 students experimented with rammed earth techniques and built the load-bearing walls of a future garden pavilion. The event was part of the DAAD-funded university cooperation with IIT Roorkee in India. The exchange of knowledge and experience for the further development of sustainable construction techniques with the Indian partners is also to be continued in the coming semesters. The material and energy balance of construction will be of particular importance. The teaching and research area of architectural theory is in close exchange with the Sitchting het Limburgs Landschap. The Dutch foundation intends to transform the monastery complex into a future workshop where people will think about the building and living of tomorrow.

The results of the Summer School are the 4 rammed earth walls that now stand in the garden of the monastery. The elaboration with the help of formwork can still be clearly seen through the different layers and holes in the wall.

Preparation for the Summerschool in connection with:

“Indo-german centre of experimental architecture and material culture” // DAAD University co-operation “a new passage to India”

Teaching Staff: Prof. Axel Sowa, Prof. Smriti Saraswat, (IIT Roorkee), Dipl.-Ing. Bernadette Heiermann, Joost Meyer, u.a.

During the first part of our research modul we established an extensive database on Indian and European Earth and Clay architecture. This inventory, integrating operational knowledge on substances, building techniques and specific functionalities, will serve as a base for experimental design and building processes. In August 2020, we will realize a selected design proposal within the compound of the ancient abbey of Hoogcruts.

In the first part of the research field, an extensive building database on Indian and European earth and clay buildings was created. This inventory is an operational store of knowledge with information on substances, construction techniques and forms of use and forms the basis for experimental design and construction processes. On the site of the former Hoogcruts monastery, we will realise a selected design in earthen construction in August.

First preparative session: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 10 am – 1 pm at Hoogcruts (NL) Further preparative sessions, Thursday mornings (t.b.d.), Chair Theory of Architecture, Templergraben 49, 2nd Floor Summer School: August 10-20, 2020 (accommodation and cooking facilities will be provided at Hoogcruts)