The project, 3 sculptures - the zeppelin, the monolith and the pool - that serve as meeting rooms for the workers, is a commitment to support craftsmanship locally as well as in Bangladesh and in India. The aim is to create an atmospheric space of high quality for the employees of Omicron, and at the same time to make a social economic impact by involving a high amount of local craftsmanship and development organization from the global South.
The 3 sculptures can be seen as living rooms for the company’s employees, to have meetings in a comfortable poetic atmosphere to retreat, contemplate, meditate and brainstorm, to have a coffee break, to chat.
The zeppelin is a meeting room up in the air that glooms in the night and illuminates the space. Through the silky skin the atmosphere inside is very soft and poetic, in dialogue with the rich patterned textiles from Bangladesh. The space will touch the senses in a very subtle way. The structure is made by timber, covered by an outside layer of handwoven non-violent silk from a leprosy project in India called Little Flower.
The monolith is the most experimental structure of these 3. It is an attempt to bring the most basic building earth technique - the Zabur - as it is used in Ghana as an example for Austrian laws and regulation systems. It is a two-storied structure with only 15 centimeters thick non-stabilized clay walls including a load bearing clay dome. The Austrian regulations unfortunately lead, besides a steel foundation, to an addition of two horizontal steel rings as well as a ring for the central light opening. The rest of the monolith is layer by layer shaped by hand. Earth functions closest to the human body in the exchange of heat and moisture; it also dampens noise and absorbs smells, significantly enhancing the quality and comfort of interior spaces. Spaces like the inners rooms of the monolith - entirely made of earth - connect the occupant to the building process by touch, by smell and therefore by memory.
The pool formed out of a landscape of earth is filled with a dozen of pillows from Bangladesh that we've made in cooperation with the NGO Dipshikha. It is an open, playful and communicative area, which is located below the zeppelin, on the side of the monolith.
If we were to design a new, sustainable material capable of absorbing heat and regulating moisture vapor, one that should be one hundred percent recyclable, easy to repair, and required little gray energy in its production, we could engineer highly technical solutions to meet this challenge. However, earth already has the potential to fulfill these requirements in its manifold forms. Earth is palpably healthy, both in the sense of environmental impact as well as human health, key to shaping the atmosphere and the degree of comfort in an indoor climate. A low-tech material with high-tech performance, it has been employed throughout human history in a sustainable manner. This Project not only meets at best and in a unique way the needs of its users: we believe it can also pave the way for a more broad and experimental use of the earth in interior projects.