2016 – 2017

Centre for Research and Education
Suapi, Bolivia

Designed, Research

Picture: Iris Nöbauer

The impressive landscape of the Yungas cloud forests in Bolivia stretches from the highlands of the Andes down into the Amazon rainforest. A variety of animals live in this sensitive, warm and humid ecosystem.
Only two hundred years ago, this area was settled by Aymara and Quechua tribes from the Andes. They brought with them from the highlands their building tradition with clay and green roofs, which, however, was not adapted enough to the humid, rain-intensive climate. Today, those who can afford it build with modern building materials imported from La Paz.
The Yungas are an area with potential for soft tourism and independent economic development, but it is essential to work in balance with nature. If no care is taken, as for example in coca cultivation, the soils are quickly depleted and landslides are the result.
The NGO EVA Yungas wants to create a research and training centre where circular economy is tested and taught in different areas of life such as agriculture, construction technology, renewable energies and water management.
The building itself is intended to be a showcase for sustainable building materials from the region, so it was planned with wood, clay, stones and fibres. The design includes a good foundation and large cantilevered roofs so that the rammed earth walls are protected from moisture.
The research centre itself consists of two courtyards with space for workshops, tests and seminars; further down the slope, simple living facilities for researchers and volunteers are planned.

Guest Houses

Guest Houses

Workshops and Seminar Room

Workshops and Seminar Room

earth tests together with UMSA students

Photos: Iris Nöbauer

Design Supervision
Roland Gnaiger

Dominik Abbrederis

NGO EVA Yungas

Research and Design
Paul Jungwirth
Annkathrin Freude
Iris Nöbauer (only research)

Research partner
Architecture students FAADU/UMSA, La Paz