Uzala Pavilion

The idea of the Pavilion comes from two examples of the know-how of anonymous builders. The houses of “roter”. One of the features defining the landscape of Majorca are the small drystone constructions called houses of “roter”. “Roter” is a traditional name for a poor peasant who was ceded a portion of land to plough up. During the work the “roter” was taking out the stones and storing them. With this residue he built a simple hut to shelter. Dersu’s refuge. In “Dersu Uzala”, Akira Kurosawa’s movie, there is a long scene where Dersu builds a shelter using the same construction patterns as Majorcan “roter”.  Dersu and his friend Captain got lost in the Siberian steppe and had only four hours to build a shelter where to spend the night and not freeze to death. Dersu instinctively began cutting reed and pile it. The Dersu’s shelter is a two meters air camera build with the only material available in that place and that time. The “roter” and Dersu borrow the material from the environment. Once the shelters are not needed anymore, the materials used return to the environment without leaving a trace of construction.

The construction begins with a residue on the island. Tradition has given us examples of natural surplus to insulate our homes and belongings. Materials such as Posidonia (aquatic plant endemic in the Mediterranean) have been traditionally used as thermal insulation in houses near the coast. Today we have new surplus in our landfills such as paper, clothing and many others to discover.The pavilion is mainly constructed of a waste material which acts as thermal insulation. This is achieved with a wooden structure as light as possible and by reducing the material and weight, favoring transport to site. The pavilion consists of six panels that are constructed in the workshop, but the outer layer. Its function is similar to the bark of a tree: protect the interior from sun and from the water excess. This crust is built with recycled wood and not protected with any product, and will age similarly to the trunks of pines.

The pavilion has two large windows, one to the north and one to the south. The south one is a glass gallery. It is a mechanism to capture the winter sun and get energy gains. While the Mallorcan summer shade, ventilation and interior woodwork, will help in not obtaining energy gains in summer. The greenhouse is built of three wooden frames, and each contains a blind on the outside and a simple carpentry recycled glass inside. On the plane of the façade a carpenter wooden facade is placed, whose function is to close inside the pavilion gallery.

The project is developed in three stages: 

Phase 1. The prototype. The three axes that define the design of the prototype are the following:

1.- It is a biodegradable construction. The following materials are used: Posidonia oceanica, wool, wood, reused carpentry, glass and oils to protect the carpentry.

2. It is an energy efficient construction. First, we use typical Majorcan galleries working as a natural heater. They capture the heat of the winter sun and keep it within the house. The wooden sunblinds (persianas) protect the house from the summer sun and allow the wind from the sea to enter and cool the house.

3. The building can be disassembled and reassembled elsewhere. Nowadays, one of the most important problems that has to be addressed is the need for demountable buildings. The construction lifecycle should be defined as “assemble-disassemble-assemble” and not as “build and demolish”. The demolition generates a significant amount of waste, so any construction project should minimize the waste by allowing for a possibility to dismantle buildings and re-use the materials

Phase 2. The Pavilion.  Once we have the prototype, it has to be adapted to a particular place as it has to interact with the context and the territory. The result of this interaction is the following:

1. Use of the materials and crafts linked to the territory.

2. Interaction with the landscape. The materials used for the exteriors are natural, for example, the wood. The building has to be placed on the site to maximize the sunlight and winds.

3. As the time passes the Pavilion will disappear among the trees. 

Phase 3. Living in the Pavilion. Once the Pavilion is built, its characteristics will be verified through the following strategies:

1.Monitoring of the temperature and humidity outside the building, inside the walls, floor and ceilings and inside the building. Comparison of the observed data with the expected characteristics.

2. Study of how thermal and humidity characteristics of the materials change over time.

3. Study of how the inhabitants use the building.

The project will end in the five years time. The Pavilion will be dismantled and reassembled in another place. It is expected that the ecological characteristics of the land the Pavilion was occupying will return to those prior to the construction.






Client: Anyone

Location: Any place

Architecture: Aulets 

Architecture collaborator: Pau Sbert + Daniel Hipolito

Structural engineer: Alfons Romero

Architectural Technologist: -

Prime constructor: -

Built aerea: 15 m2

Project date: 2012

Project complete: -

Total bugdet: 15.000€

Photography: Aulets