The aim of the Rammed Earth House competition is to design an experimental building made of rammed earth at a specifically selected location in the South-east region of Slovenia. Rammed earth is one of the most sustainable materials in the world, accessible practically anywhere, and its properties enable a healthy and sustainable living environment. Earth houses improve indoor air quality and are energy efficient.
The competition location is in the village of Dobrava near Škocjan, on a flat landscape near the river Krka. It is one of the few farms in the area that has retained the characteristics of an early 20th-century farm. Ten buildings in a typically clustered typology stand on the site. The western part of the location is forested. This part is the location of the Rammed earth house competition.
Dobrava is a typical village of this area, which lies on the plain by the river Krka. The typology of farms has grown over the centuries and a typical farm of clustered buildings has emerged.
The farm of this competition is one of the few that has preserved the characteristics of a farm from the beginning of the 20th century. A few modern additions have not degraded the historical substance.
The farm consists of 10 buildings:
1. Residential house
2. An old barn that is no longer in use and is currently used for storage and warehouse. It also has a wine cellar.
3. “Pod”: a former grain dryer. It is the oldest building on the farm, dating back to 1836. It houses a collection of old tools today.
4. Small barn: a small extension to the “Pod”, which was intended for storing leaves and straw
5. The pigsty: not in use
8. New garage: building built in the 70s
9. New barn: this is a facility built in several phases between 2000 – 2018 for a herd of cattle and horses.
10. Smaller hayrack: an older hayrack currently used for the storage of machinery
There is a small forest in the western part of the area. It grows mainly oaks, hornbeams, and beeches of higher growth. In the central part, there are buildings listed above, and in the eastern part a meadow. The Škocjan – Šentjernej road lies on the north side, from where there is also access to the farm. South of the farm is pastures and fields that reach the nearby river Krka.
The village area was an important market center in the Middle Ages. The town of Gutenwerth stood on the former island of the river Krka but was destroyed during the Turkish invasions and the population was displaced. The remains of the church of st. Helena is presented under a roof designed by famous Slovenian modernist architect Oton Jugovec.
3 The Competition task
The competition’s aim is to design one residential building for two people on a minimum area built of rammed earth. The maximum building area of the building must not exceed 30m2. It can be located anywhere in the western part of the area, in the forest (see site plan).
4 The Program
The facility must provide living comfort for two people in accordance with modern criteria:
– Living area with mini kitchen and dining area
– Sleeping area for two people
– Sanitary facilities (shower, sink, toilet)
Instructions on living, sleeping, sanitary work are programmatic, not spatial. This is not a requirement for necessarily separate units, only a requirement for a function, which the contestants can design on their own.
The facility will be as self-sufficient as possible.
5 Materials and construction method
Applicants must predict rammed soil as the basic material of the building. Horizontal slabs as well as foundations can be wooden or concrete.
The official organizer of the competition is Outsider magazine
The construction of the house is planned. The facility will become a starting point for measuring the material properties of compacted soil and preparing regulations and guidelines for construction from compacted soil in Slovenia.
The competition is open to all. No professional qualifications are required.
Registration is required, the link is provided on the competition website. There is no registration fee. Upon registration, the participant will receive a unique six-digit PIN (example: A15GH3). The provided PIN should be used in accordance with the guidelines of the competition brief.
Questions and inquiries are accepted via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by February 20, 2021. Please use “Competition Rammed earth Q&A” for the subject line. Answers to questions and inquiries will be published on the competition website on March 1, 2021. Notices will be emailed to registered entrants.
11 Competition Schedule
- December 31, 2020: Competition announcement and start of the registration.
- February 20, 2021: Closing date for Questions and Inquiries.
- March 1, 2021: Answers to Questions and Inquiries will be published on the competition website. Notices will be emailed to registered entrants.
- March 30, 2021: Closing date for registration.
- March 30, 2021, at 23:59 CET: Submission deadline.
- April 2021: Announcement of the winners.
- Summer 2021: workshop of rammed earth technique on construction site.
12 Competition Documents
A download link with the following files will be provided upon registration:
- Competition brief, .pdf file (EN/SI)
- .dwg files of the competition site
- .pdf files of the competition site
- .jpg photos of the location
- .pdf form to prove authorship
13 General Guidelines and Notes
The house should be designed so that construction is possible. There is no need to create a statics project or solve implementation details. It is enough that the main elements of the building and support points can be seen from the plan.
14 Submission Documents
Each participant must submit the following documents:
- Presentation panels: a maximum of five (5) A3 (210 x 420 mm) 300 dpi panels, portrait-orientated presentation boards in the .pdf format. Each panel must be equipped with a participant’s PIN in the top right corner – text height approximately 1 cm. Presentation panels must contain the following:
- At least one (1) floor plan, scale 1:50 or 1:100, equipped with the minimum dimensions required for an understanding of the structure size and spans.
- At least two (2) sections or elevations, scale 1:50 or 1:100, equipped with the minimum dimensions required for an understanding of the height of the structure.
- At least two (2) perspective (or axonometric) views of the structure. There is no restriction of the type of the perspective view used (hand drawing, rendering, photo of the physical model, schematic rendering, etc.) as long as it faithfully represents the structure.
- Any other materials, such as concept diagrams, details, sketches, etc.
The panels should be combined into one .pdf file titled PIN Panels.pdf (example: A15GH3 Panels.pdf).
- Explanatory Note: one (1) .doc file titled PIN Explanatory Note.txt (example: A15GH3 Explanatory Note.doc) containing a maximum of 3,000 characters (including spaces) describing the main concept and other elements necessary for an understanding of the proposals, such as construction method, technical details, materials, etc.
- A scanned form (found in the competition material – form.pdf) in the .pdf format containing participants’ details and the statement of authorship. The form should be signed by all participants. The file should be named PIN Form.pdf (example: A15GH3 Form.pdf).
Notes regarding submission documents:
- No submission of physical materials (including model) of any sort is accepted.
- No videos are accepted.
- All information provided in writing must be in English or Slovenian.
- Presentation boards and Explanatory Note files must not indicate any pieces of information related to the identity of an individual/team.
- All dimensions should be in the metric system. Please use centimeters (cm) or meters (m).
In order to successfully submit an entry for the Rammed Earth House competition, follow the procedure below:
- Compress a total of three files, as described in section 13, into one .zip file titled PIN.zip (example: A15GH3.zip). Maximum file size: 100 MB.
- Upload your .zip file to WeTransfer, Dropbox or any other similar online file transfer service.
- Submit your entry by emailing a download link to email@example.com with the subject line: “submission EARTH PIN” (example: submission EARTH A15GH3). The submission email containing a download link must be sent by March 30, 2021, at 23:59 CET.
Please note: Should the competition organizers encounter problems downloading or opening files, they will immediately contact the entrant and require them to resend those files. Should such an entrant not provide the files within 24 hours of the notice, they will be disqualified.
Pieces of information you provide during the registration process as well as all submissions accepted will not be disclosed throughout the competition period until the final results are announced. To ensure fairness in screening and evaluation, entrants must not disclose their submissions through any means, including the social media channels, until the winning entry is announced. Entrants who take such actions are disqualified.
17 Evaluation Procedures
The evaluation will be made in two rounds: technical review and Competition Jury.
Upon the final Jury decision, the competition organizer will contact the shortlisted teams, and invite them to the award ceremony where the winners will be revealed.
Tina Gregorič – professor at TU Wien, dekleva-gregoric.com
Rok Žnidaršič – professor at Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, medprostor.si
Maruša Zorec – professor at Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, arrea.si
Miloš Kosec – architect and member of the editorial board of the Outsider magazine
Srđan Nađ – architect and member of the editorial board of the Outsider magazine
Matevž Granda – architect and member of the editorial board of the Outsider magazine, president of the jury
3 winning proposals and 3 Honorable Mentions will be selected. The organizers will award a total of EUR 3,000,00 in prizes to competition winners as follows:
- 1st prize: EUR 1.500,00 gross
- 2nd prize: EUR 1.000,00 gross
- 3rd prize: EUR 500,00 gross
- 3 Honorable Mentions
The Organizers will acknowledge the outstanding performance of all winners and Honorable Mentions with Certificates of Achievement. The winners will get media coverage, they will be featured on Outsider.si website and published in the summer edition of the Outsider magazine.
This project is a part of a partnership network Platform Center for Creativity co-financed by European Union from European Regional Development Fund and by Republic of Slovenia: