Costa da Morte, Spain – Antón García- Abril

Date of Project: August 2006
End of Construction: February 2010
Built Area: 25 m²
Photography: Roland Halbe

This cabin must rank as one of the most innovative, yet easiest and cheapest to build, that we’ve ever seen. In fact, a cow named Paulina did most of the work!

Anton Garcia Trufa
A quarry saw opens the shell so that Paulina can start work!

Named ‘Trufa’ (truffle in English), the cabin was built by enclosing stacked hay bales in concrete and earth. Once the concrete had set, a quarry saw was used to expose that hay bales. Then Paulina stepped up to the plate and started eating! A full year later, Paulina  had eaten her way through 50 m2 of hay and grown from a calf to a 300 kg adult!

Anton Garcia Trufa

From the architect:

The Truffle is a piece of nature built with earth, full of air. A space within a stone that sits on the ground and blends with the territory.

It camouflages, by emulating the processes of mineral formation in its structure, and integrates with the natural environment, complying with its laws.

Then, we materialized the air building a volume with hay bales and flooded the space between the earth and the built air to solidify it. The poured mass concrete wrapped the air and protected itself with the ground. Time passed and we removed the earth discovering an amorphous mass.

The earth and the concrete exchanged their properties. The land provided the concrete with its texture and color, its form and its essence, and concrete gave the earth its strength and internal structure. But what we had created was not yet architecture, we had fabricated a stone.

We’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t our dream cabin. But it is a fascinating concept that has ample scope for refinement. What do you think?

Don’t miss the (also unusual) video below the gallery images.

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. 8-)

You’ll find many, more conventional cabins below. No cow needed!  :D