An aerial view of the final assembly site near Hayes Hall shows that the site was chosen, among other things, for its flatness, which facilitated the conditioning of the ground.
The final assembly featured a double wall for necessary stiffness, while the gaps between blocks create variated lighting effects in conjunction with the visual striation of the blocks.
The installation involved on-site coordination and classification of the nearly 100 rammed-earth blocks based on their strength and geometry. As a study of material composition, each block also features different proportions of clay, sand, gravel, and water, as well as limestone and charcoal dust.
Students worked together to level the ground and blocks and ensure a stable construction in relation to the conditions of the final assembly. The orientation of the wall assembly permitted the interaction with light effects.
Directed by Miguel Guitart, assistant professor of architecture, the seminar explored these critical aspects of architecture through the design, fabrication, and assembly of nearly 100 rammed-earth blocks into a wall assembly. The blocks were stacked and assembled by Guitart and his students last month behind Hayes Hall on UB’s South Campus.
Published June 22, 2021
Students in the Department of Architecture’s Material Culture research seminar last semester, under the direction of Miguel Guitart, assistant professor of architecture, explored ground-related architecture, focusing on mass, material recirculation and the relationships between construction and the land on which it sits. The installation is scheduled to remain on-site for two years as part of a study of its decay and erosion over time. Photos: Douglas Levere