Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Truffle of a Home

The Trufa (meaning "truffle" in English) is a piece of nature built with earth, concrete, hay, and eventually, a volume of air. Photographer Roland Halbe's holiday home in Spain by Anton García-Abril of Ensamble Studio, was cast in the earth of concrete over bales of hay that was eaten out of the space over the course of a year by Pauline the cow. What remained was an ambiguity between the natural and the built, a space full of air and rich texture colored by the earth. The newly formed enclosure was then fitted out with a open bath, sleeping platform and a sofa in clean and simple forms. With a subdued color palette, it creates a contemplative space for one to retreat with the only the quietness of the surrounding trees and ocean.

The man-made rock was sliced smooth at either end and cut to fit in a window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Roland Halbe via Dezeen)

Smooth concrete surfaces juxtapose with the heavy texture of the walls created by the hay bales. (Photo by Roland Halbe via Dezeen)

Pauline ate for a year starting out as a young calf and leaving as an adult weighing 300 kilos. (Photo by Roland Halbe via Dezeen)


  1. Wow. Ugly on the outside; cool on the inside. How big is the interior? Great inconspicuous space/place.

    I found a blog tonight with great photos of abandoned homes in Detroit that have been taken over by vines, trees, and other plants. Called "feral" homes. Check it out:

  2. Yes, I agree, the slashed ends look murderous and the window shoved in place as if to lock in harrowing spirits. Then the interior appears so blissfully peaceful . . . it's such a dichotomy that you're not quite sure you can trust it. The interior can't be more than 300 square feet.

    Some of the "feral" homes have elegant bones and seem to be determined to die gracefully . . . while others retreat with shame. I read years ago by a newspaper columnist that she felt the Detroit ghettos were the "best" ghettos because most of the houses were mainly brick. Now, it doesn't seem to matter.


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