A temporary overnight location made of hempcrete

Architectural studio Werkstatt designed an overnight location made of hempcrete as part of a project celebrating the 200th anniversary of the city of Veenhuizen, the Netherlands.

The temporary overnight location is made of blocks of hempcrete and wood. Hempcrete is a more sustainable alternative to concrete using the shives of hemp. Hemp was chosen as an answer to the question whether the farmer can be part of the local production chain of high-quality (construction) materials.

The location is called “Zwart Zaad” (“black seed”), referring to the Dutch expression “op zwart zaad zitten” (“to sit on black seed”). The black seed in question was mustard seed, a cheap seed used often by farmers whose harvest had failed, as the plant can be sowed as late as August and harvested in November, generating income for the farmer to make it through winter.

Wertkstatt views hemp as the equivalent of ‘black seed’, as it can be used in crop rotation and as catch crop.

The overnight location leaves the hempcrete full in view, and is fully demountable after use. At end-of-life, the blocks will be fragmented and scattered on farmland, where it will act as fertilizer.

For the 200th anniversary of the city of Veenhuizen, the Netherlands, seven temporary overnight locations have been added to the landscape. Called Veen|Huis|Hotel (link in Dutch), the project is an initiative by restaurant Bitter en Zoet and Ketter&Co, a collective of makers and thinkers that aims for a more sustainable society.

For the project, the designers, architects and artists had to use sustainable materials that were harvested or found locally, and the way of building had to be sustainable and energy efficient. In addition to Werkstatt, overnight locations have been designed in the landscape by Anne Beuk, Fé Ramakers and Floor Skrabanja, Jaap Le and Thomas Latjes, Studio TMOJ, Tjeerd Veenhoven and Overtreders W.

Photos: Werkstatt