green building, natural materials, sustainable materials, clay paint, african colors, Portuguese summer cabana, natural materials, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, TerraPalha, thermal massing, jute panels for architecture,

In order to make the rich earthy colors, the design team made paint mixtures from local soils and clay. These were hand-painted on jute fabric, sealed with silicate mineral paint and linseed oil, and then left out in the sun to dry.

The round structure was constructed separately, on site, using pliable eucalyptus tree poles that were hand sewn with clay-painted sisal rope. Once the jute panels were nice and dry, they were sewn onto the frame. For natural ventilation and lighting, several spaces were left open.

At 120 square meters, the cabana commissioned by Fundação Gulbenkian is surprisingly spacious, and the cladding covered in clay provides thermal massing to ensure a comfortable interior environment. Albeit rough and ready, this really is a wonderful study in how self-sustainable we can be if we apply ourselves to simple, local, natural and sustainable design. The shelter will remain in place throughout the summer.

+ TerraPalha Studio

Images via Catarina Pinto, Filipe Branquinho