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FAIRE 2021

Wool Wall

Marlon Bagnou Beido, designer; Thomas Flores, architect

Research and prototype investigating the potential of bio-based insulation as an architectural element

Research and prototype investigating the potential of bio-based insulation as an architectural element


Insulation has now become an imperative to reduce the use of energy for heating, and more generally, our overall energy consumption. Against this backdrop, WOOL WALL proposes considering wall insulation not as a hidden technical stage in the finishing work, but as a fully-fledged typological architectural element, to the same extent as doors, staircases, and windows. Bio-based or recycled insulation materials such as cellulose wadding, rye straw, and sheep wool become a testing ground for shaping, finishing, and building functionality into already existing insulation techniques.

The assembly of the panel is based on the principle of layered material secured by straps and ropes. The hygroscopic properties of wool ensure that the ambient air has low humidity, which can prevent certain respiratory ailments. The panel initiates a new sensory relationship to the wall. Its outer surface made of fabric allows consideration of different interactions than those engaged in with a hard surface. The set of straps, though first and foremost structural, creates a pattern on which it is possible to build on for more varied uses, including hanging pictures and maintaining a suspension, or accommodating cables and pipes.

The fabrication process allows for in-situ installation in under an hour, directly on the job site. The wooden elements—the frame and core of the panel—can be factory-prefabricated. The assembly only requires a few basic handheld tools. It puts the emphasis on the quality of craftsmanship. The finishing work becomes a sort of stitching process and the construction site a place for the transfer of know-how that is adapted to renovation and self-build projects.

The panel attests to a research process that is expected to be pursued on different materials—the forming processes being documented and made available on an online platform. They will ultimately be featured in an exhibition on the theme of thermal comfort.

Marlon Bagnou Beido, Thomas Flores
Marlon Bagnou Beido is an industrial design graduate from ENSCI les Ateliers and Thomas Flores, an architecture graduate from UdK Berlin. This multidisciplinary background enables them to pursue projects in a cross-cutting way and to take a holistic view of the issues at stake.


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