It is almost two decades now since German architect Anna Heringer has engaged in a consistent and forward-looking research path on rammed earth and its potentials as construction material. It is not by chance that “less concrete, more earth” is one of her mottos. Heringer’s rejection of concrete stems from macro-economic stances (to reduce the dominance of lobbies) and socio-cultural stances (to preserve and enrich local know-hows, and to transform construction into a tool for reducing inequalities).
Rudrapur’s Anandaloy Building, designed in collaboration with Martin Rauch, Andreas Guetling and Emmanuel Heringer, is one of the latest outcomes of these reflections. Besides its materials (mostly earth and bamboo) and the building process (managed by a local enterprise, employing local craftsmen), the issue of functions is crucial here.
Commissioned to design a center for people with disabilities, Heringer suggests its pairing with the working spaces of Dipdii Textile, the tailoring program for Rudrapur’s women that she activated with Veronika Lang and the NGO Dipshikha.
The condition of disability, still largely stigmatized in Bangladesh and often leading to the individual’s complete isolation, is here re-integrated in the community’s life. More than that: its technical spaces significantly contribute to the Anandaloy Building’s identity.
The access ramp, a première for the region, transforms from a utilitarian addition into a plastic element. As it winds up around the building, it stands out as a demonstration of rammed earth's technological and formal qualities, as well as of the need for a more inclusive society.
- Anandaloy Building
- center for people with disabilities, workshop
- Rudrapur, Bangladesh
- Anna Heringer
- Project management, drawings:
- Stefano Mori
- Earth and bamboo details:
- Martin Rauch
- Roof construction:
- Andreas Guetling
- Bamboo roof:
- Emmanuel Heringer
- Montu Ram Shaw
- Dipshikha Bangladesh
- Kadoorie Foundation, Lutz & Hedda Franz Charitable Trust
- 253 sqm