Buildners is pleased to announce its jury for the Rammed Earth Pavilion International Competition!

Alia Bengana, Alia Bengana Architecte
Anna-Laura Bourguignon, Architect
Abraham Cherem and José Antonio Aguilar, Cherem Arquitectos
Ben Gitai, Gitai Architects
Tim Krahn, Building Alternatives, Author
Alex Reed, Artist
Kathryn Robson and Chris Rak, Robson Rak Architects
Jesus Edmundo Robles, Jr., D U S T
Mattia Pretolani, ALICE, ellipse architecture
Marc Thorpe, Founder, Marc Thorpe Design
Laurent de Wurstemberger, LDW Architects, TERRABLOC
Dutra Brown, designer

Alia Bengana is founder of Paris-based Alia Bengana Architecte. She was born in Algiers and graduated from the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-Belleville in 2000 and from the Certificate in advanced studies of the ETH of Zürich, Regenerative materials.In 2006, she was awarded a Delano & Aldrich Travel and Research Grant from the Academy of Architecture and the American Institute of Architects. She founded her own studio in Paris in 2009 and develops projects in France and abroad with a bioclimatic approach and a particular interest for raw earth, natural materials and reuse. Since 2015, she has taught workshops focused on the role of material in architecture  at ENSA de Paris-Malaquais, ENSA de Paris-Est, l'École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs and Strate design, and also gives lectures on biobased materials and earth construction at ENSA de Paris-Belleville. At the School of Architecture of Paris-Est, Alia Bengana has been assisting Isabelle Biro on the issue of biobased materials since 2019 and has co-organized with her a cycle of lectures entitled "The Cycle of Matter: Building with Biobased Materials". With Claude Baechtold and Antoine Marechal she is preparing a comic book adaptation of their investigation on concrete entitled "Béton, enquête en sables mouvants" to be published by Presses de la Cité in the autumn of 2022.

Anna-Laura Bourguignon is a Franco-Mexican architect currently practicing in Paris. She studied at the School of Architecture of Paris Val-de-Seine (ENSAPVL) and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico City (UNAM). She specializes in earthen architecture through a degree taken at the University of Grenoble with the CRAterre Laboratory. She worked in Paris, Mexico City, San Salvador, and Vietnam and has started her own professional practice in 2018, focusing on participatory processes in architecture as well as on the use of natural materials such as earth. She is a fellow of the Delano-Aldrich Fellowship since 2020 for a research on participatory processes in American cities.

 Abraham Cherem and José Antonio Aguilar lead Cherem Arquitectos, a young architecture studio based in Mexico city. Their work seeks to make an emphasis in understanding the whys and the places in which their projects are developed. Strong and clean geometries comprise its projects with clear gestures searching the proper and honest materiality and sense of space in their solutions, creating timeless architecture.The practice’s work is characterized by meticulous attention to the concept and details of every project.

 Tim Krahn is a partner of Canada-based Building Alternatives, which promotes the use of alternative methods and materials for structures through an integrated design approach that is environmentally-sensitive, energy efficient and project-appropriate. He is also the author of Essential Rammed Earth Construction. Tim is a registered professional engineer. He holds a masters degree in geotechnical engineering, a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, is a founding member of the Natural Building Engineering Group, and is the chair of the Ontario Natural Building Coalition.

 Ben Gitai is founder of Paris and Haifa-based Gitai Architects. He was born in Paris and pursued his studies in Paris and then in Haifa, where he completed his BA in 2003. From 2004-2007 he served as a photographer during his military service in Israel. In December 2014, he opened his firm which focuses on urban development and architectural typologies for housing and offices in conflict territories. In January 2016 he was assigned as lecturer at the ETH Zurich cooperating with the faculty of architecture at the Technion of Haifa.

Alex Reed is a Los Angeles-based Artist working primarily in clay. His practice encompasses self directed work and design/prototyping for industry. His works included a rammed-earth counter for a garden-themed pop-up shop in LA for lifestyle brand Flamingo Estate.

Jesus Edmundo Robles, Jr. is the Founding Principal of Tucson, Arizona-based D U S T. Originally from the Southwestern United States, Jesús spent much of his youth traveling the landscapes between Southern California and Texas. Jesús studied architecture in Lubbock, Texas, at Texas Tech University’s Master of Architecture program, earning his degree in 2003.Since then, he has cut a unique path to expand and hone his craft, gaining over 18 years of architectural design, project management, construction, and construction management experience. Jesús has been one of the founding/managing principals of D U S T since its establishment in 2007. Each of the works shows an investigation into sustainable material development, articulation of craft throughout the design and build processes, and contributes to the discourse of phenomenology and place in architecture. In addition to practice, Jesus has contributed to Platform, a publication of the University of Texas at Austin, and is an instructor at the University of Arizona teaching design studios and Material Fabrication.

Kathryn Robson and Chris Rak are principals of Robson Rak, an established, award winning firm in Victoria, Australia. Kathryn Robson, principal architect, comes from an extensive working history in Europe and Australia. Chris Rak, principal interior architect, has contributed to cutting edge design in leading Melbourne design offices, which followed a multi disciplinarian fine art background. The pair’s experience, personalities and shared perfectionism combine to create a stimulating and productive collaboration, where material and craftsmanship result in timeless and elegant architecture and interior design.

Mattia Pretolani is Studio Director and Architect at ALICE, a laboratory for collective and active imagination (with) space based in Lausanne at the EPFL. Mattia graduated as an architect from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, Msc Arch) and University of Architecture of Venice (IUAV). He has practiced in Lausanne, Berlin and Zurich and he’s co-founder of the office ellipse architecture based in Lausanne. He’s actively tutored architectural workshops since 2015 and he organized/curated the international workshops event EASA TOURIST 2019.

Marc Thorpe is an architect and industrial designer and founder of Marc Thorpe Design. Marc is known internationally for his innovative and dynamic work, taking a rigorous approach to the integration of architecture, design and hand craftsmanship. The studio conceptualizes design while embracing process and has the resources to produce consistent communication platforms. These include architecture, interior design, graphic design, furniture design, product design, retail and exhibit design. Thorpe has dedicated the studio to the research, professional practice and education of systems thinking through the discipline of architecture and design. Thorpe states, “we believe in a holistic design approach, which engages the social components of space and form.”

Laurent de Wurstemberger is founder of LDW Architects and TERRABLOC. He trained at the Mendrisio Accademia of Architecture, and has been working as an independent architect for twenty years. He was co-founder and partner of Freefox Architecture Studio in Mendrisio with former study colleagues, and then co-founder and partner of ar-ter, from 2008. In 2018 he set up his own studio. He is also co-founder and partner of Terrabloc with Rodrigo Fernandez, a company that manufactures raw earth construction products. The company has already proposed about thirty constructions in Switzerland and is currently working on the democratization of earth in modern constructions.

Dutra Brown is a designer based in Los Angeles, California. She received her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University in 2022 and her Bachelors in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture where she graduated with distinction and was awarded a Merit Prize for her thesis. Her recent collaborative project with Alex Reed, The Flamingo Estate Harvest Shop was shortlisted for the 2021 Dezeen Awards.


The Rammed Earth Pavilion competition is part of a series exploring the unique benefits of different building materials. Participants are tasked with designing a pavilion to be constructed of rammed earth in a location of their choosing. The pavilion will host an exhibition on the material, the contents of which should be included in submitted designs. The Rammed Earth Pavilion can be designed as either a temporary or permanent structure but should be no more than 50m2. What is important is for the design to be as creative as possible in its use and exploration of this ancient and sustainable building material.

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