Chile 2019/

Canyaviva Arquitectura Natural


Project Details



San Pedro de Atacama / Chile



Year (Design/Construction):

- / 2019

Area (Net/Gross):

- / 60 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The entire building was constructed by hand, making emissions minimal or even negligable.
  • The construction was made with natural and renewable materials and does not generate waste at the construction site

Project description as provided by the Architects:

A solid construction with reeds has been made in the driest desert in the world. San Pedro de Atacama, located in northern Chile, welcomed students from various countries for a month and a half, who in the training process managed to build a 10-meter-diameter dome. In it, 6,000 reeds from the area, more than 10 km of natural rope, 200 meters of jute cloth, a ton of ‘baba de chumbera’ and 200 bags of plaster were used.

The project would not be possible without the 15 years of investigation and experimentation with this material, more than 60 fixed and ephemeral projects carried out using the CanyaViva technique, created by the architect Jonathan Cory-Wright. This construction system consists of a combination of arches with other natural materials that make the work waterproof and resistant.

In addition to being a job that lasts over time, the technique stands out for its originality, flexibility, design and aesthetics, which make CanyaViva a unique method in the world.

After several construction experiences with cane, mud and lime, in which the results were positive structurally and aesthetically but with no resistance to water, a mixture of materials based on plaster, prickly pear and linseed was tested to make the work an impermeable and safe space to changes in temperature and rain. While this technique requires linseed maintenance every 3 years, there are elastic paints that, although not 100% ecological, give a guarantee of up to 25 years. The resistance allows it to have a long useful life, being an excellent alternative for housing and other spaces such as cultural centers, yoga centers, porches, stages, among others.

Through natural and sustainable materials, CanyaViva delivers innovative architectural solutions, promoting a life in harmony with the surroundings and diversity of designs in fixed and ephemeral structures.

Photos: Canyaviva Arquitectura Natural

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