November 25, 2013
Rammed Earth has always been a great material for libraries, as it keeps the humidity and moisture low, helping preserve the books. Luigi Rosselli Architects has designed a beautiful entry to the Kings Square competition in Freemantle, Perth, Western Australia. The use of Rammed Earth is as much for its function as it is for its aesthetic, as it should be.
It incorporates a “thermal stack” which is used extensively by ancient architecture for arid environements which creates passive air-conditioning. As they say “The design solution of the stacks uses the same clay hydroscopic capacity to cool down when air circulation evaporates the humidity absorbed by the day. Together with drawing air from a cooler basement, thermal mass and passive solar skylight system at the top, the stack becomes an air conditioner to the building.”
I admire Luigi Rosselli Architects in their understanding and knowledge of the materials, utilising the hydroscopic attributes. “This natural ventilation and lighting system is a key component of the design, making the rammed earth volumes both sculptural and functional.” Here’s hoping they are successful and this fine example of functionality becomes a reality! All photos copyright of Luigi Rosselli Architects.