© Boltshauser Architekten
LURRA, earth, in Basque, a term that defines the planet that contains the life we know but that also refers to the surface, the substance that holds this life. Earth exemplifies the beginning, it represents the underlying support for human and non-human activity, and will remain the endless source for learning on the way we humans relate to the world. Earth is present in the first settlements, where it was laboured to provide shelter, in the emergence and development of agriculture, in the conception of the abstract and modular brick, in the arise of synthetic materials such as concrete and also in contemporary architectural sensibilities which reclaim circularity, revisiting traditional savoir-faire, hygrothermal benefits and lower carbon footprint. Baserri, an assemblage of human activity and territorial dynamics, is substantiated upon land -earth- as its essential resource for productivity. The importance of a balanced relationship has been key for a feasible enduring from the 15th century up to the beginning of the industrial era, when innovative technical improvements brought a substantial change in the essence of the rural activity. The increase of productive rates, emergence of industrial processes, introduction of foreign species, urban migration and the consequent land speculative dynamics, added to the effervescent socio-political scene of the past centuries resulted in a misconception and loss of the identity of this architecture. As the elementary unit that structured the local landscape in the Basque region, this phenomena has had important territorial consequences which are visible nowadays, especially in the breach of the relationship to land and earth. Taking baserri as an example, and adopting a Rhizomatic approach, we wish to open, identify, unveil, associate and mix other possible lines that could inspire new approaches, exchanges or actions on how to re-connect ourselves to earth; a guarantee of a well-grounded future.