Musée des confluences

Modern earthen houses

Building tomorrow

23I02I16 – 17I07I2016

How can mere grains of material hold together to build up walls? This is what Modern Earthen Houses proposes to explain by showing us and experimenting with the physical forces that govern granular material and allow us to build with earth.

Introduced to the beauty of raw earth by a work of Daniel Duchert, the general public has been rapidly invited to experience the qualities of this material. By means of simple handling this scientific exhibition leads children and adults to wonder about the constituents of raw earth, to study the behaviour of the grains and to discover ancient and modern building techniques. An interactive screen conjures up numerous examples of earthen dwellings and buildings, monuments today figuring on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The variety of traditional habitats in raw earth is also illustrated with examples taken from the collection of models in the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne. Contemporary uses of this material of the future are presented through a selection of fifteen buildings in the world. Finally a workshop space at the very heart of the exhibition invites the public to handle the earth to discover the scientific and sensory properties of this material.

An exhibition conceived and realized by the City of Science and Industry, a place of universal science in collaboration with the Craterre laboratory of the National Institute of Architecture in Grenoble and co-produced with the musée des Confluences, the department of Nord for the departmental Forum of Science, the department of Bas-Rhin for the Vaisseau de Strasbourg, the EPCC site of Pont du Gard.