The Earth Stations Many Hands are a new typology of buildings aimed at facilitating and promoting encounters and cultural exchange, conceived to foster productive human relationships.
They are living monuments created in the world to celebrate the importance of humanity and, like gothic cathedrals, are places where humanity finds recognition, reveals itself and expresses the meaning of its own existence.
They are buildings of large dimensions, handcrafted by many hands together, by many people, using primordial techniques, because even today humankind is able to construct its most representative symbols by hand, without using any machinery, automation or technology for molding, transport and assembly.
The Many Hands Earth Stations are destined for those areas of the planet that are distinguished by particular climatic conditions that have fostered the birth of a local craftsmanship with a strong identity which continues to flourish even today and despite the expansion of the global economy. They are a concrete answer to sustainability because, as well as being composed of natural materials and being constructed according to natural principles, they can be repaired and transformed at any time.
The Many Hands Earth Stations are made by hand and use materials and techniques that are typical of the various climatic regions into which the inhabited world is divided and which are chiefly five: desert, temperate, continental, polar and tropical. One building has been designed for each climate, all conceived as places to bring together, demonstrate and experience all the local artisanal techniques, from the construction of typical objects to the preparation of dishes from local recipes. 1. Clay Station is built of clay in the desert climate regions and combines craftsmanship with the production and preparation of local food. Eating together, conviviality and hospitality are universally the most genuine expressions of a culture. 2. Terracotta Station, for a temperate climate, brings together strikingly different realizations of objects in terracotta: vases, plates, bowls, containers, decorative ornaments as well as bricks, tiles and building materials. It is an intriguing market of artefacts realized with the simplest and oldest malleable material. 3. Log Station for a continental climate, where the most commonly available material is timber. It is constructed totally in wood in its most natural form, that of the trunk that has been carved, embellished and adorned with decorations and narrative portrayals. Inside, markets, restaurants and exhibitions of artworks in solid wood. 4. Bark Station: shingles for the arctic climate and used to clad a bold construction suspended over the ice. It uses construction techniques typical of these regions with sparse vegetation, where the ability to sew together thin wooden boards using natural cord has been well perfected over the centuries. Inside, there are displays of the most extraordinary works in wood and sealskin, canoes, tents, clothing and household crafts. 5. Bamboo Station for the rainy and humid climates of the Tropics with a profusion of bamboo, a very invasive plant. The cladding is composed of matting and fabrics that enhance the acoustic and insulating characteristics of the plant fibre. Within, visitors come into contact with an alternative world of completely natural architecture and gastronomy.
Earth Stations Many hands is a research project that aims to demonstrate the value of the contribution that architecture makes to the evolution of society, in full consideration of the wellbeing of the planet.
Earth Stations and their history
The Earth Stations were born of their own accord, without us having sought them out or invented on a whim. My collaborators and I had already understood quite some time ago that the meaning of architecture was changing and the traditional typologies of buildings no longer sufficed. We realized that residential buildings, offices, museums, shopping malls, congress centres and so on, were no longer enough to communicate the value and the quality of the project, because all too often the success of the building was not represented by the simple satisfaction of functional needs. Something more was needed, something that would attract and draw people to live constructed spaces to the full. Pure functionality was evident, legitimate and normal but also insufficient.
This issue first came to the fore while designing hotels, where it became clear to everyone that success could not derive solely from the rooms where one slept at night, but rather from all those attractions that make the hotel worthy of being selected as a place to live also by day. And of all the attractions, the most alluring is nature, the natural element of landscape and climate, the more extreme the better. The hotel can truly become the place to enjoy natural experiences that are special and unique, and which may never have been tried before. And in these spaces it is possible to construct real Temples of Nature, symbolic buildings that celebrate nature in all its most extraordinary manifestations. The sole prerogative is not to bring to them invasive infrastructures, roads, car parks, rail tracks, stations. As a theme, these Temples of Nature therefore preceded the arrival of the Earth Stations by essentially developing two arguments: the evolution of the conventional concept of function in architecture and the need for representational symbolic buildings.
The Earth Stations arrived at the beginning of 2018 as both concept and design, expanding and evolving the experience of the Temples of Nature, also as a result of the need to realize visionary images with which to nourish the static creativity of architecture. The name was formed by putting together a typical destination from which to start out. People go to the station in order to leave and the most important destination today is without doubt the planet Earth, understood both as a place of knowledge and as a resource to be protected. The Earth Stations are not Space Stations from where one sets off for Mars, Jupiter or the Moon. In order to render the concept more effectively, we started from very well-known typologies of architecture and we developed them according to the criteria of the Temples of Nature, emphasizing the qualities of social reception and amplifying the attractiveness of the architectonic form and the monumentality of the interior spaces. The need to rethink the social meaning of buildings also arose from very topical themes regarding the evolution of lifestyles as a result of the introduction of computer and digital technology, and the arrival of artificial intelligence which, having mastered its control and having overcome the initial fear, will take away so much bureaucratic and repetitive work and provide us with more free time to dedicate to human relations and care for the body, mind and creativity of the individual.
The original Earth Stations are monuments to humankind, to its civilization and to its technology. They make extensive use of technological knowledge to create better conditions for life and for coming together. However, we did not want to overlook the more human and more emotional world of craftsmanship, of the beauty and the sensitivity inherent in everything that is made by hand. In addition, while it is very true that a certain part of the world is immersed in technology, it is also true that another large part is still totally centred on the production of artisanal objects that are very simple, very personal, very artistic and poetical, but also undervalued. These considerations gave rise to Many Hands Earth Stations, which take on the theme of craftsmanship using the criteria of the original Earth Stations, defining a series of architectonic visions of monumental buildings dedicated to people and their hands. The buildings are also evidently made by hand and use materials and techniques that are typical of the various climatic regions into which the inhabited world is divided and which are chiefly five: desert, temperate, continental, polar and tropical. One Many Hands Earth Station has been designed for each climate, all conceived as places to bring together, demonstrate and experience all the local artisanal techniques, from the construction of typical objects to the preparation of dishes from local recipes.
Credits: - AMDL CIRCLE - Communications - Giulia Barcaro