The hamlet as an impulse for the development of cultural landscapes

The hamlets in the Swiss cultural landscape are under economic pressure. With the help of my concept PermaTecture, a combination of permaculture and architecture, the original function of the hamlets can be preserved and further developed. This is a vision for a responsible use of the landscape through sustainable architecture and agriculture.

Image work detail

In an increasingly globalized world, agriculture and thus the landscape shifts. At the same time, the demand for regional food is increasing and therefore new concepts are required. The hamlet, as the original typology of local food production, is getting reactivated through the use of permaculture as the alternative to the conventional agriculture. The existing knowledge and architecture are transformed and expanded in a contemporary level. With this the hamlet can meet the demand for local food production. This is supported by an architecture that combines the traditional local construction methods and materials, with the principles of permaculture.

The building is like an organism, a multifunctional, constantly changing agricultural and residential building. It is symbiotic with the other existing structures of the hamlet and offers new necessary functions. The symbiosis goes far beyond the limits of the hamlet. The direct connection with the nearest cities, is a fundamental part of the overall concept. Be it through the sale of produced food or through the people from the city, who will additionally live and work seasonally in the new building. Like permaculture, permatecture works as a holistic circulatory system, where every part overlaps different elements in order to generate useful combinations. The footprint of the building in the landscape is as minimal as possible trough a lightweight wooden structure. The pragmatic construction makes it possible to the future residents to be build it them selfs only accompanied by a few experts. The low-tech building technology can be regulated by the residents themselves. This is made possible trough simple concepts and with different climate zones and therefore achieving the best ambient for every season. The building materials mostly consists of local wood and other oil free components. The building is divided vertically into three sections. The living level, which is located along the long corridor, consists of modular room compartments with different utilities. The focus is on community life, and at the same time there is always a possibility to retreat in a single room or one of the many niches. The working level, below the living level, serves different functionalities, which varies depending on the season. The permaculture garden, which surrounds the building on all sides, is an extended part of the building. The architecture is an extension for the garden and also of the hamlet. Working and living are atmospherically connected. It is always possible to see the garden and its growth at all time and therefore the relationship to the surrounding environment. The building presents a possibility of an alternative agriculture future and a way of creating architecture in the cultural landscape.