Lutum, from the Latin for loam, Rammed Earth Pavilion is located at the fairgrounds, in Ladenburg , a town that lies on the bank of the Neckar river in south-western Germany. The site is a nexus of activity, that is utilized year-round and is accessible by boat, car, bike and foot, making it an ideal location for a pavilion on alternative construction materials. Programmatically, the pavilion will serve to educate on the millennia old sustainable construction methodology of rammed earth, leaning on the site’s multi-modal accessibility as the primary knowledge dissemination network.
The formal gesture of the pavilion is a poetic expression of the earthen construction material. A composition of the alchemical symbol for the earth element and the planetary symbol for the earth, It embodies a sense of coherence, unity, stability and passive change; in harmony through the seasons. A triangular formation of CSIRE – cement stabilized insulated rammed earth – walls with an undulating aesthetic form the outer shell of the exhibition space, this space is in turn bisected by a linear RRE – refined rammed earth – wall that is punctured along its length and serves to simultaneously divide and unify by creating out of one, four quadrants within the pavilion, reminiscent of the 4 corners of the earth.
The pavilion construction is a sensory feast inviting visitors to experience two of the myriad of different construction techniques for rammed earth and their associated detailing. Seating and bike stands are seamlessly integrated into the pavilion encouraging weary visitors to take a pause along their journey. The walls also serve as display surfaces for exhibition panels further educating visitors on the material, the plethora of uses, its benefits, maintenance, and care. To be built from locally sourced earth, the pavilion, will not be something alien or foreign to the site but simply one expression of what has always been.