finot conq

village d'urgence

Definitive city settled in emergency
Project conceived by groupe finot,
developped with the Université de Bretagne Sud

After natural catastrophes or political events, emergency cities need to be developed. Such cities often become “too definitive” and the victims are left in long-lasting unbearable conditions.

We propose to develop shells which can be installed very quickly, before or after sanitation and fluids networks (water, electricity…). The floors can be added subsequently inside the shells, as well as the facades. Then, this entity can be used as framing for a construction in clay, strengthen with straw (pisé) if necessary.

The city that is slowly created is completed with plantations and street treatment.

The advantage of this process is the rapidity if of the houses settlement, which subsequently and progressively form a definitive, consistent and clean village. The embellishing touch is created afterwards by the inhabitants who put in the clay by themselves.

These cells are made up with different pieces easy to transport, light and easy to settle, only with the hands. This easy settlement allows the inhabitants to be more involved, thus more motivated.

The flexibility of the shape makes it easy to build houses or collective equipment (schools, worship places, administrative buildings, mosques, assembly rooms).

The flexibility of the modules allows a wider range of solutions for the city organization.

Presentation of a house
plan d'une maison
élement type croisée de voute
élément façade type
élément type croisée arête

The house is made up with three to eight cells, including a sanitary block, with an entrance and a few small windows facing the street, and some rooms organized around an inner courtyard.

The sanitary block includes a kitchen, a closet, a shower room with a washroom, a remaining space used as crossing place and working place for the kitchen, and a technical space.

This technical space includes a chimney, ventilation, water and electricity passages and constitutes the core of the sanitary block.

The sanitary block is linked to the network through an individual box accessible from the street.

The external wall is vertical, or made up with arcades constituted by several similar elements.

Presentation of the process
The construction system consists in using stratified shells.

The different elements, limited in their shape and size, are assembled together to make rooms, external walls, windows, corridors etc.

They are placed without any tools and they can be used as they are. Then, the clay placed above this wrapper constitutes the very heart of the house. It is a modernization, a quick settlement of an architecture used for thousands of years by men in many continents.

Traditionally, many of these clay houses are built with arches, which preserves the forests, and are more resistant to earthquakes.

This process is used to build houses and collective premises.

The passage of fluids is planned through the structure and the whole is linked to the networks.

These shells are optimized to be fire-resistant for the inner walls and UV-resistant for the outer walls.

tous les abris sont mis en place
les maisons sont regroupées en quartier
les façades sont ajoutées
la terre, armée de paill (pisé), est mise en place les maisons sont finies

Advantages of the process

Easy settlement:

    Light weight (maximum of 100 kg for each piece)
    Quick settlement with few technical elements
    Does not need special foundations

Easy to transport:

    Small dimensions, thus transportable by mail or 40 feet container
    Village built in 2 or 3 times

Inhabitants involvement:

    The users can participate in the building of their village

Multiple possibilities of creation:

    The system allows a great flexibility in the shape and makes it easy to create different buildings (housing, schools, worship places, shops, hospitals)


    The duration of life is above 30 years. The inside of the houses are washable
    The outside of the houses can be repainted (once every 10 years). Afterwards, it is possible to build external walls in clay brick rather than laminated walls.

Good thermal isolation:

    The houses have a significant thermal isolation and inertia thanks to the thickness of the walls.

Good watertightness:

    The stratifié brings by nature a good watertightness on the floor as well as on the roof.

Good seismic resistance:

    The houses have a good seismic resistance thanks to its arch shape. They can bear a certain soil distortion.

Adaptation to different sites and lands:

    The system is fit to settle on various types of lands, including in slope.
    In flooding lands, it is possible to create knolls. In this case, the houses can be built on non-stabilized lands.

Resistance to fire:

    The houses are fire-resistant. M1 walls inside, regular stratified outside.

Drawbacks of the process

Delicate filling of the walls:

    The filling with stabilized clay can be made partly by using a mechanic device, but the packing of the clay between the walls must be done by hand in order to have a good compactness without crushing the shells.

The building of the walls in pisé traditionally requires a lot of carefulness and manpower. This currently slows its development.

Modernity and arch shape:

    The material is modern and industrial, with the advantages linked to it, but contrasts with the traditional habits of the inhabitants and their culture.

    Specific by its shape, this technique involves arch-shaped constructions. These two aspects, modernity and arch shape must be integrated into the local culture and such culture must use materials just as they are, personal contribution is only brought afterwards.

The non porosity of the divisions:

    The walls are completely watertight and the houses must be permanently ventilated. Inside, a division in clay (or in plaster) will naturally regulate the moisture.

The price:

    The price of the elements, not including the settlement, accounts for 140 to 190 Euros by m², which is low for an industrialized country but generally more expensive than a local construction using traditional materials in a developing country.


The material is suitable for a very quick settlement, especially in a country where production structures are not organized or insufficient.

The lightness of the elements, their easy transportation and their shape make them a suitable mean of integration.

In a second step, the project needs to be culturally integrated and there must be a local handling for the conception, the manufacturing and the settlement. It is undeniable that to start such handicraft system and industrial construction company system, requires time and labor.

Such process, which is as universal as bricks or stones, is relatively easy to adapt to a local production if you want to resolve the price problem.