The Truffle – Dumbría, Spain - Atlas Obscura

The Truffle

Dumbría, Spain

This rough experimental house was created by flooding a dirt hill with concrete. 


Installed right on the Spanish shore, the sustainable housing unit/art project known as The Truffle was created by purpose making a huge cement boulder with dirt, hay and a baby calf, and then simply hollowing it out.

While The Truffle is clearly an artificial construction, its laborious creation process also left it with an unmistakably organic feel. In order to create this unique one room apartment, the builders first constructed a small dirt hillock. After hollowing out the dirt hill, they placed hay bails in the center and filled the surrounding space with concrete. once the concrete dried, the earthen hill was cleared away, exposing the huge, rough boulder that had been created according to the contours of the hillock’s interior. The boulder itself also had a hollow interior which was created by the hay bails which completely filled the space. To clear out the new apartment space, the builders acquired a calf and simply let it go to feast on the straw. The cow, named Paulina, took around a year to fully clear out the interior.

After the space was cleared, it was cleaned up and a window was installed in one end along with some other amenities. Once complete, the living space had a toilet, fireplace, small sink, and a little bed right under the window which itself looked out at the sea. This odd little design project remains, looking like a giant cement prune that would be nice to cozy up in.      

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