An alcove in raw earth commemorates the experience of birth

The Hittisau Women's Museum houses a new building by Anna Heringer, made of earth and natural materials. A "Room for Birth and Senses" where we can rethink in a holistic way the first space that welcomes us.

The first prototype of the "Birth Space" pavilion has come to life in Hittisau, Austria. An architectural survey on the culture of birth, the building offers itself as a uterine and muffled space to celebrate the real and metaphorical experience of childbirth and encourage reflection on its change. Located on the lawn surrounding the Hittisau Women's Museum, where it integrates the "Birth Cultures" exhibition on display until April 2021, the pavilion was created thanks to a crowdfunding campaign involving about 600 donors.

"Light, smells, colors, temperature, textures, sounds... it must be overwhelming to leave your mother's womb and come into the world," say Anka Dür (architect and midwife), Anna Heringer (architect, winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the METI mud and bamboo school in Bangladesh), Martin Rauch (artist), Sabrina Summer (designer) and Brigitta Soraperra (cultural worker), co-authors of the project.

Characterized by a conical shape that offers itself as a hand-modeled cave, in clear reference to organicism and the bond with nature that inspires it, the structure is entirely made of natural materials. Inside, the space is covered in Tadellakt lime and terracotta plasters, outlining an essential but welcoming environment also through a colors palette declined around the warm tones of ochre. Outside, the coexistence of clapboards with different geometric shapes introduces a pleasant note of novelty and good humor.

Project team:
Anka Dür (Architect & Midwife i.a.), Anna Heringer (Architect), Martin Rauch (Artist), Sabrina Summer, (Designer), Brigitta Soraperra (Cultural worker), Stefania Pitscheider Soraperra (Director of Women's Museum Hittisau)

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