TEAM: Monika Lipińska, Ludvig Hofsten, Karolina Pajnowska
The Eternal Oasis, located in the Moroccan part of Sahara, aims at bringing together locals and tourists to celebrate the nomadic lifestyle. It is a culture hub for various activities, such as trade, storytelling and crafts.
Contrary to many nomadic structures, it is permanent and long-lasting, an omnipresent beacon in the vast emptiness, always welcoming tired travellers. We wanted it to "float" on the sand, change with the moving dunes and mirror the shape of the desert.
To introduce such changeability, we developed a special building block, which solves the problems of construction on sand - cracking, tilting and collapsing. The element is based on the principle of topological interlock, which makes every block cling to its neighbours by means of pure geometry. It allows for movements, adjustments and settling in of the structure.
Making multiple prototypes of the building blocks enabled us to choose the best type of clay. We constructed a special sandbox to conduct experiments concerning stability of the aggregated prototypes. We then chose aggregations with the best strength performance and adaptability.
In order to further stabilise the project we chose the form of intersecting, circular walls with parabolic outline, as these proved to be the most balanced in our experiments on the sand. Our goal was to achieve a collection of different atmospheres, capable of hosting a variety of functions.
Risks of building on sand and our proposal of increasing stability through the form of the building.
The building reacts to the shifting and moving sand dunes by adapting its shape thanks to the topologically interlocking bricks.
We were looking for a geometry that would allow building the structure without any additional binder, so the structure stays 'flexible' and does not crack on the unstable ground. For that reason, we started researching topological interlocking (Estrin, Dyskin and Pasternak, 2011). We have found the osteomorphic geometry (and took is as a starting point for the geometry that we have developed for our purposes, of having geometry interlocking in two axes and allowing for the movement.
Local, low-tech brick production is imperative for the project. Due to the complex geometry, the form is 3d-printed in Sweden and then shipped to Morocco, where it is easily filled with clay by local manufacturers.
The main hall
Storytelling pavilion entrance
Arts and crafts gallery
Estrin, Y., Dyskin, A. V. and Pasternak, E., 2011. Topological interlocking as a material design concept. In: Materials Science and Engineering C. pp.1189–1194.
Ikeda, Y., Herr, C.M., Holzer, D., Kaijima, S. and Kim, M.J., 2015. Emerging Experience in Past,Present and Future of Digital Architecture.
Kanel-Belov, A.J., Dyskin, A. V, Estrin, Y., Pasternak, E. and Ivanov-Pogodaev, I.A., n.d. Interlocking of Convex Polyhedra: Towards a Geometric History of Framgemented Solids. [online] MOSCOW MATHEMATICAL JOURNAL, Available at: <http://arxiv.org/abs/0812.5089> [Accessed 1 Nov. 2019].