“Let us never lose sight of our little rustic hut. I can only see columns, a ceiling or entablature and a pointed roof forming at both ends what is called a pediment… If each of these parts is suitably placed and suitably formed, nothing else need be added to make the work perfect.”

Essai sur l'architecture - Marc-Antoine Laugier, 1755.

In 1755, Marc-Antoine Laugier published the second edition of Essai sur l'architecture (Essay on Architecture) with the famous frontispiece of the primitive Hut by Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen. Beyond breaking with several mystic rules and placing the reason as the main argument for the architects, there is  a factor that determines the importance of the Vitruvius hut as the origin of the domestic chamber: Laugier used it as a prototype and model for the construction of larger spaces. The Vitruvius hut works as the most elemental connection between a new philosophical period - the Age of Enlightenment in this case - and the position of the humans with their architecture. It is the first chamber that theorizes about the protection of the individual from the nature. The minimum dwelling unit becomes the center of the theoretical discourse.

The Primitive Hut - Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen. Essai sur l’architecture, Marc-Antoine Laugier. 1755

wunup  asked:

What is ur interpretation of a "small building"?

Scale is perpetually relative - the Chrysler Building may be big, but it might be small compared to the Burj Khalifa. It would also come down to the definition of a ‘building’ - would the primitive hut be considered a building? It’s a big open question here! 


Building a primitive wattle and daub hut from scratch

I built this hut in the bush using naturally occurring materials and primitive tools. The hut is 2m wide and 2m long, the side walls are 1m high and the ridge line (highest point) is 2m high giving a roof angle of 45 degrees. A bed was built inside and it takes up a little less than half the hut. The tools used were a stone hand axe to chop wood, fire sticks to make fire, a digging stick for digging and clay pots to carry water. The materials used in the hut were wood for the frame, vine and lawyer cane for lashings and mud for daubing. Broad leaves were initially used as thatch which worked well for about four months before starting to rot. The roof was then covered with sheets of paper bark which proved to be a better roofing material. An external fireplace and chimney were also built to reduce smoke inside. The hut is a small yet comfortable shelter and provides room to store tools and materials out of the weather.