‘le costil in normandy is brought to life using only natural materials

‘le costil’ by anatomies d’architecture

The French cooperative Anatomies D’Architecture recently completed the Restoration of a traditional brick house of 83 sqm in Sap-En-Auge, Normandy. Dubbed “Le Costil”, the project was launched as a fully ecological initiative defined by ambitious construction targets: 0% concrete, 0% plastic and 100% natural materials sourced locally within a radius of less than 100 km.

Within two years, the architects brought their vision to life by using ‘People of Normandy who fight every day to preserve local and traditional crafts, ancestral practices, regional solidarity and short-circuits.’ These include farmers, lumberjacks, sawmills, quarry workers, masons, historians, researchers, apprentices and volunteers.


Image © Laurent Kronental

reconnect the house to its territory

In essence, Anatomy’s D’Architecture was driven by the idea of ​​recontextualization “The way we build our houses. Rather than building a “standalone” structure, the goal was ‘connect again [the] Habitat to its territory, taking into account its characteristics and resources: climate, geography, history, built heritage, local materials, regional building techniques,’ writes the association.

The first step in the construction of “Le Costil” was the gathering of materials on site within a radius of about 100 km: robinia logs (30 km) for the wooden pile foundations, raw Douglas fir wood (30 km) for the wooden frame of the building, short hemp (45 km ) for bio-based insulation, recycled corks for rot-proof insulation, local raw earth (0km) for fills and coatings, and chestnut ganivelles (120km) for bioclimatic cladding. Other resources include hay, flint, cow dung, and a hazel tree found on site.

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

As well as assembling materials from the local area, Anatomies D’Architecture have reused some of the building’s original terracotta bricks to construct a terrace using the traditional calade technique, without mortar and glue to avoid waterproofing the floors. After endless months of combined effort, the team managed to move, scrape and wedge 1,100 bricks, 800 floor tiles and 400 reused tiles. “Anatomies d’Architecture have carried out the construction for the past two years, constantly trying to find alternative and local solutions to conventional buildings.” concludes the association.

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image via Anatomy D’Architecture

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

This traditional brick home has been brought to life in Normandy using only natural materials
Image © Laurent Kronental

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