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Department of Architecture


Natural Materials Group header

The Natural Materials and Structures group, led by Michael Ramage, focuses on design and construction using natural materials and traditional methods to adapt them to a contemporary architecture.

Building with local and natural materials is based on traditional knowledge, transmitted from one generation to the next, often going back many centuries. As such, these vernacular buildings have shown to be adequate for local climate and structural requirements. Unfortunately, much of the local wisdom for architectural designs was abandoned during and since the industrial revolution, having a negative impact on the environment as a whole. With a growing communal concern for environmentally friendly design and construction, such local traditions provide an excellent source of knowledge in using natural materials and structures. Our aim is to adapt these technologies to contemporary, sustainable and affordable designs.

In the field of architecture and structures, our group revisits natural materials and traditional typologies, to innovate new natural material composites and designs for affordable and sustainable building systems.