Construction workshop with cane and knowledge transmission in Alocutim

  • start  November 2020
  • promoter   QRER
  • place   Alcoutim, Portugal

cane construction

The use of cane (Arundo donax) is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the Baix Guadiana in the Algarve. For centuries it was used to produce utilitarian objects, such as baskets or mats, but also in traditional construction, specifically on the false ceilings of rural houses. Although today its use is residual, its potential is very great both in handicrafts and in sustainable architecture and bioconstruction. It is an abundant resource that today can be valuable in creative initiatives and harmonious with the environment that generate entrepreneurial opportunities. With this aim, the project is developed highlighting the potential of the cane in its multiple applications.

The workshop on the transmission of knowledge about the construction of the master-apprentice cane took place between 7 and 13 November in the Alcoutim, Algarve, Portugal. Carried out by Voltes has been promoted by the Cooperative QRER through its initiative QRIAR , within the scope of the“ Magallanes_ICC ”cross-border cooperation project, which has the support and collaboration of Alcoutim City Council.

The action consisted of a practical "know-how" approach, around the preparation, handling and shaping of reeds for the construction of a 7m long and 5m wide reed arch tunnel. The tunnel incorporates the theme of the "Smuggling Festival", alluding to the ancient passages used by smugglers in their nocturnal activity.

The structure consists of a fragment of a hyperbolic paraboloid made through 10 parabolic arcs of variable length intertwined to form a mesh. This is complemented by straight reeds that form a secondary structure that braces them and also becomes the basis for coverage. The arches have been configured by two modules of 7 reeds chosen with a diameter at the base of 20mm. 700 reeds have been collected in Alocutim for the construction of the structure.

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