Red Shack

R e d    S h a c k

Ampefy . Madagascar . 2017

Client Private

Status Completed

This 60m2 pavilion was built using the local construction technique that is specifically found in the Hauts Plateaux region of central Madagascar : coated brick walls, large thatched roof and natural hard soil. The major challenge was to respect the use of local resources, from the boots to the hat of the house :

– The soil, lay on a granite base stones, is composed of clay mixed with hydraulic lime, tamped, pigmented and then smoothed.

– The bricks of the curved walls were shaped by hands and assembled together using clay mortar.

– The coating is an amalgam of sand and laterite. A second coat (a lightly tinted lime wash) is applied as a final plastering and is drawing a geometric wall pattern.

– The framework was shaped with local wood supplied by the client and rests on two interior load-bearing walls, dividing spaces between water, day and night rooms. The thatch was dried in-situ and laid by the village craftsmen.

The pavilion, beyond its thermal comfort, meets the constraints that a site such as this one may encounter: materials, climate, construction times. Thus, the constraints, when they are admitted, become a constructive force and embrace the construction, which makes this project a delightful eco construction manifesto.

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B i r i k y

Tana . Madagascar . 2009

Client Private

Status Completed

James Cameron was a missionary who lived in Madagascar in 1826. He is also the man which introduced mud bricks technique in the island. The clay was moisturized, then molded, tamped and dried in the sun. These adobe bricks (Biriki tanimanga) are a more efficient construction technique than the ancestral cob (Tovam-peta). But mud bricks suffered of a poor resistance to the compression.

Five years later, in 1831, Jean Laborde (consul of France and french manufacturer) imported the cooked bricks technique on the island. This architectural revolution, mainly used for prestigious buildings and for a ‘bourgeois’ society, was quickly spread from urban to rural areas, since it perfectly compensated for the shortcomings of mud bricks. We find cooked bricks in the main architectural elements (walls, lintels, columns, frames…) of every large red houses of Antananarivo, houses which are so characteristic of the Malagasy landscape. Here is one more.

With its dominant position on land overlooking the rice fields, this house has all the characteristics of a Malagasy ‘bourgeois’ house. Main facade’s bricks posts, balcony, brickwork, balusters, Victorian Trims and carved wood porch bracket are the traditional elements that the client wanted to keep.

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