Hello Wood: Constructing timber structures from scratch for rural campus

Photo credit: Somoskői Gábor 

Projecet Village is a three-year long project that challenged participants to build their very own settlement. 2016 is the second year of the project and sees architects, urban thinkers, and students from all around the globe – from universities such as Cambridge University, Oxford University, ETH Zürich, Goldsmith University, and TU Delft – building the rural campus for the summer school of Hello Wood’s nomadic faculty and student body in Csoromfolde, Hungary.

“Project Village 2016 is the beginning of a new era for Hello Wood. We are building a rural campus that will be open throughout the year to welcome architects, artists, social scientists, and students. In our brief we asked for projects that address actual needs of the community, from the most mundane and pragmatic ones to the utmost spiritual. We were happy to see responses to these basic functions such as a sanctuary, a storage or a public kitchen, among others,”said Peter Pozsar, one of the founders of Hello Wood.

Participants explored the first architectural acts of settling, while debating current and historical precedents during symposium and roundtable discussions. In addition to the educational programmes of the summer school, students also helped to invent, design and realise their own campus, based on the collective ideas of the community, which will become the base of the educative activities and research of Hello Wood. Over the week, 14 timber structures were constructed.

“One of the main challenges for us during the masterplanning was to create a real settlement, where the projects are not autonomous installations, but adapt to the needs and everyday life of the community,” Johanna Muszbek, lecturer at the University of Liverpool and curator of Project Village commented.

Currently, the village has its own “Parliament”, that uses a picnic table as a module forming an ampitheatre; its own “Cathedral”, built on the 300-year-old ruins of a previous settlement in Csoromfolde, to address the spiritual needs of the first settlers; and even its own Shou Sugi Ban workshop, that uses a Japanese technique of charring wood to extend its lifespan.

Photo Credit: Tamás Bujnovszky. Project Village now has its own Parliament for debates.
Photo credit: Somoskői Gábor. The village very own Cathedral.