in spain‘s basque country, arquimaña contemplates the relationship between architecture and the natural environment with ‘BORDAK’. located in a rural site outside the small village of ataun, ‘BORDAK’ is a contemporary reinterpretation of a vernacular basque hut. the project was commissioned by atari, a cultural association that aims is to bring basque architecture closer to all audiences.

the borda was set up next to the river in a rural location

images courtesy of arquimaña

 

 

traditional basque huts — called ‘borda’ — were typically made of timber and or stone. often located on higher ground, bordas were commonly composed of two levels. the first floor was used to shelter animals, and it was called ‘ikullu’. the upper level, on the other hand, was used to store grass and straw. the structures were built on land owned by the farmer and on some occasions, they would even sleep there. many bordas eventually became farmhouses, especially between the 17th and 18th centuries.

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

a bench gathers around a fireplace on the lower level

 

 

arquimaña‘s BORDAK has been erected on a tree-filled site near agauntza river. the design is divided into two levels to preserve the essence of the original borda. the lower level offers a sense of community with a circular bench for visitors to gather around a fire. alternatively, passersby can just sit and look out at the surroundings.

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

the farmer planting grass seeds around the structure

 

 

you can access the upper floor via a ladder, which leads to a space for two people. this space receives natural light through a transparent dome in the ceiling. in homage to the tradition of basque mythology in the region, the interior has been designed as a mystical, gold-lined place to observe the trees, the stars, the sky, and the weather.

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

in homage to traditional basque mythology, the interior is designed as a mystical place to observe the trees, the stars, the sky, and the weather

 

 

the structural pieces were all CNC cut by a local carpenter to facilitate easier transportation and a quick assembly on site using just handtools. the upper level is clad with cork and felt, which were chosen as soft and natural materials that could be worked by hand. in order to leave the smaller footprint possible, a screwable foundation was used so once the borda is disassembled it is possible to unscrew everything and leave the ground as it was. BORDAK was built over one weekend by arquimaña and a group of volunteers, who even worked through storms ernest and dora in december 2020. 

 

video courtesy of arquimaña

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

the verticality of the borda establishes a dialogue with the trees

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

the entrance faces north to protect from the strong south winds coming up from the valley

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

the borda in the landscape

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

the dome on the top prevents snow from entering inside while still allowing for natural light 

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

exploded view of the elements that make up the borda

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

all the pieces were CNC cut by a local carpenter for easy transportation and assembly on site

arquimaña puts a contemporary spin on a traditional basque hut designboom

different typologies of a traditional borda

 

 

project info:

 

project name: bordak

location: ataun, spain

design: arquimaña for atari

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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