The earth is our support, our base, the root that will, eventually, allow us to fly.
To speak of the earth requires us to think about water, the slow force that moulds, cracks and bores. That transforms and sometimes also weakens it.
It also requires us to think about air, empty space, the wind that moves over the surface of the earth’s crust and which our buildings, extensions of that crust, channel or resist.
Speaking about the earth is another form of encounter with the local. An encounter with the remains of the wreckage: bones—the transformation of the organic into inorganic—, stones, old foundations, traces.
And an encounter with matter: red clay, yellow sand, the grey pebbles in strata or masses….

Our work with earth represents hollowing it out, boring into it, penetrating it. Guaranteeing the transfer of loads and fluids towards it, where they dissipate.
Vertical dimension: gravitational and spatial.

And also moulding it, reorganizing the topography (probably introducing geometry into it), reinforcing it, cladding its surface.
Horizontal dimension: superficial and open.

The earth—the start and the end of architecture

Josep Lluís Mateo,
Venice Biennale, 2012