Believe it or not, this house is made of the plant hemp. The progressive Spanish architecture firm Ideo Arquitectura Boutique chose this material to keep their ecological footprint as small as possible. The result is a sustainable, but still graceful home.
The house, located in warm Mallorca, bears the name Can Monges. It was constructed by Ideo Arquitectura Boutique under the motto "think global, act local". The original house was two hundred years old and suffered from a huge problem of rising damp. The firm tried to solve this by using hemp for plinth in the house. The plant has the ability to capture moisture from the ground and pass it on to the indoor environment. As a result, the damp does not stick to the walls. The material was used in a plinth that runs through the ground floor, as well as in the roofs, because of its very high thermal capacity. It can also be found in the walls that separate the rooms from each other because, thanks to its high density, it also provides good acoustics. Amazing what purposes natural materials can serve!
Hopefully Can Monges can serve as an example of ecological architecture.
However, the use of hemp in architectural projects is still an uncommon practice, mainly due to architects' ignorance and the lack of companies producing it. Ideo Arquitectura Boutique is therefore a pioneer in this field and hopes that other companies will soon make use of this sustainable, practical material. Especially in areas with high humidity it could come in handy. In addition to using hemp, the studio has tried to minimise its footprint by reusing the rubble that was created in the building process itself. Various finishes, such as flooring, tiling and existing doors, were also recycled. Finally, the new materials were sourced from companies on the island itself. The only material that had to be imported was hemp. Ideo Arquitectura Boutique hopes that Can Monges can serve as an example of ecological architecture. They want to encourage the islands to cultivate hemp, so that it can be used more in bioconstruction. At Imagicasa, we greatly admire the progressive thinking and working method of Ideo Arquitectura Boutique. We hope to see more similar sustainable projects soon. Photography by Salva López