Bales high

I suppose that is architecturally naive of me to suggest that this straw structure reminded primarily of a giant jenga, but as they say, honesty is the best policy.

Agricultural mountain 3

Agricultural mountain 1

Agricultural moutain 2

The Spanish collective Grupo IUT built the tower of straw bales on the agricultural outskirts of Guimarães in Portugal. The structure stood 13 metres high and contained 288 straw bales (and hence an infinite amount of straw).

Agricultural mountain 4

I like how it juts out from the surrounding landscape like a Mayan temple; and I believe that it too exudes a sense of spirituality and strength as homage to the Earth, like the ultimate Harvest festival. The so-called “Mountain” with its interior space denies our expectation of the “house made of straw” from the fables (“I huff and I puff and I blow your house down…”) as it is self-supporting – the unique assembly pattern of the straw bales allowed the structure to remain rigid and secure as each compressed under their own weight, meaning that no other reinforcement was needed.

A rare case where agriculture and architecture unite, and I like it.


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