the truffle Anton garcia-abril

The Truffle/ Ensamble Estudio

I've been meaning to talk about this piece of architecture for a while now as I first fell across it June 2011 and was blown away not only by the final outcome but the processes involved in constructing this impressive small scale space. The images used belong to Roland Halbe and Ensamble Estudio

The Truffle was designed by Anton Garcia- Abril and sits in Costa da Morte in Spain overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A project spanning 4 years for a relatively small space brings me to the processes used during this time frame, hi lights that a project such as this really needs time to bed in to the landscape in which it sits.
This concrete structure was made using bails of hay stacked in such a way to create the internal space forming rooms. Concrete was poured on top of the hay and left. Now this immediately fascinates me because the making and building techniques are fairly simple and yet the processes involved also immediately inform the overall aesthetic for the final piece.

This organic form could give the impression that it has been built based quite instinctively. I believe for such a hands on project it would need a great deal of careful consideration and precision design decisions in order for this to work. I love that there is a rawness to it.. The marks not only made from the imprintations of the hay but also how that sits and balances with the sharp cuts at the front used to create the viewing window. 

This looks very much like stone being removed from a quarry. The scale of the concrete and the marks left from the tools being used are all important factors and it is in these details I was instantly drawn to what what was achieved.  

In this image the process becomes even more intriguing! It is evident for the first time to begin to understand what the interior space will look like and how it's going to work as a space however, the calf played an integral role here. Paulina was introduced to the space in order to eat through the hay and clear the internal cavern that way nothing was wasted. This process alone took a year. I'm so impressed by everyone's patience however, the passing of time would have also allowed the structure to settle. It's always interesting to see how the changing seasons and weather conditions affect our own perception a piece of architecture or a space such as this. 

I'm going to finish with some interior shots of the finished furnished space.
This project can be seen in more details on  and

It's remarkable to see concrete being used in this way, it has similar qualities to plaster in the way it can capture every small detail. Concrete in the past has often been associated with post WW11 brutalist architecture and functionality. Although this is a material currently being used within all areas of contemporary design particularly within furniture design it is bringing a new sensibility and understanding of material qualities