RAW: Rammed Earth for Tactical Public Space Extension
RAW is a prototype that supports free, safe play in the city through the temporary transformation of public space. It is an open, modular system made up of prefabricated rammed earth units, which can be adapted to the circumstances of the surroundings. It is based on a single piece that can be stacked and arranged in different configurations. This generates levels, sequences, and nooks that endow the public space with qualities that attract activities associated with school environments.
Using earth as a building material for ephemeral architecture may seem paradoxical, but it has many advantages. Earth can be given a variety of finishes; as proof of this, RAW uses it in three different densities: prefabricated, rammed manually, and loose. This variability adds complexity to the resulting uses and types of play. Additionally, earth is a natural, reusable, and recyclable material with a very small carbon footprint. At the end of the prototype’s useful life in public space, it has been reused on the playground of the Antoni Brusi school in a new configuration co-designed by the children. As repeated use and play cause the blocks to break down, RAW will blend completely into the surface of the playground, returning to the natural cycle.
RAW represents a commitment to a non-extractive, adaptable public design that offers infinite opportunities for play.
RAW is part of Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus, a project promoted and financed by the European Union (EIT-Urban Mobility).
Support for RAW was provided by CARNET, Barcelona City Council and Antoni Brusi school. The prototype was designed and fabricated by an Elisava Research team led by Roger Paez, PhD. The prototype was tested in Barcelona in December 2021 (in street) and January 2022 (in schoolyard) and shared in open source so it can be implemented throughout Europe.