Material Design Research
Formations is an ongoing design research into a type of sandstone, called mergel, that is found in the South of the Netherlands. For centuries is was used for masonry construction until it became a raw material for cement production. Today only one artisinal quarry remains open and is used predominantly for restaurantion works. Mergel is rarely, if ever, used in a more reflective contemporary manner. In collaboration with Fer Rouwet, the oldest active miner of mergel we’ve been seeking to reappraise mergel as a construction material in its own right.
The proposal envisions a network of above ground pavilions that demarcates the underground territory of the geological formation where mergel is excavated: the Maastrichtiën . The design seeks to emphasise the spatial qualities of the underground mines and specific material qualities of mergel.