BIØN² #1 Fourth week in Villasbuenas: plastering with clay and lime, placing the tiles and…celebrating !

This fourth and last week of Workshop BIØN² #1 Design&Build with Straw Bales was full of intense work, in order to be able to open the “Casita de Paja” to the local community on saturday.









We continued plastering the interior walls with clay mortar (finishing layer) and the exterior walls with lime mortar (second base layer). In the meanwhile, we start placing the tiles on the north facade and on the roof. As allways, a group rotation was organized in order to allow the participants to pass by all the tasks, completing their learning process. In the meanwhile, the videomaker from Oficina do Convento came back to the site to register this step of the building.











A complementary activity also took place in the sports hall: the design and fabrication of cork stools that would be used to furnish the “Casita de Paja”. On the base of the traditionnal sheep-keeper stool, the participants experimented new designs, creating a unique collection of seats !











In addition of the theoretical sessions of the week (wood construction, vernacular architecture & sustainability, etc.) we had the great opportunity to listen to two special guest: on one hand Isabel García, architect leaving in Villasbuenas de Gata and formerly responsible for the preservation of the built heritage of the area, and on the other hand, Miguel Mendes, architect from CRAterre, specialist in cooperation and local constructive techniques.

On friday night we gathered in La Cantina Silvestre, one of our favourite spots in Villasbuenas, well knowed for its beautiful natural swimming pool and amazing restaurant, where we were invited with all the group of organizers, trainers and participant to tell our experience of this month and answer questions of the local community on the project. We took this opportunity to invite everyone to our workshop closure celebration that would take place two days later, on the site.









As every friday afternoon, we made an evaluation of the workshop, including diferent aspects (learning process, everyday life, emotional and more technique or logistics questions, etc.), and using specific tools and methods learned with our partner Haute Ecole de Bruxelles-Brabant (HE2B), this time with the particularity that it was the last evaluation of the workshop.













The final day, saturday, was full of emotions: for the first time, the people of the village could enter in the “Casita de Paja”, with the plasters still drying and some finishing missing, but eventhough, with the possibility to appreciate the quality of the space. This was also the moment to give their training certificates to the participants, that also received a present from the local community: a walking stick shaped in local wood. Moreover, the organizers received a great surprise from the participants who had prepared a celebrating song recounting the best moments of the workshop…unforgettable !






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