Slotlab – Daria Biryukova
Challenged by the reconstruction of a 17th-century castle farm, Daria Biryukova (Studio Mixtura) has started looking for new materials and production methods for the application in cultural heritage. She does this with the aim of feeding the existing building practice with ideas about alternative approaches. In these ideas Biryukova strives for a fully circular way of working and developed an alternative for the application of traditional slate.
Slotlab raises the topic of innovation in the building practice
As a designer Daria Biryukova participates in the project SlotLab, in which alternatives for traditional crafts are developed by researching circularity and innovation in the production of building projects. SlotLab is an initiative of Simone de Waart (Material Sense), Aryan Klein (Slot Schaesberg) and Machiel Spaan (M3h Architects).
Apart from Biryukova, they also asked designers Teresa van Dongen, Werkstatt and Thom Schreuder to present proposals for the reconstruction of Slot Schaesberg in South Limburg. The proposals serve as a ‘mirror’ for craftsmen and designers who are using traditional methods and materials. See it as a 21st-century continuation of the age-old crafts but then armed with new tools and insights.
21st-century variant of traditional slate
Biryukova’s research focuses on the ideal composition of the 21st-century variant of traditional slate. The roofs of thousands of European churches and residential houses are covered with slate. Even so, the application of slate in the future is anything but obvious. “The closest slate quarries that are still active are in England”, designer Daria Biryukova knows. As far as she has been able to find out, the British quarries are even the last ones in Europe.
Together with the Sqape company, which is specialized in working with residual products for the industry, Daria Biryukova developed a prototype of a 21st-century variant of traditional slate. The application of slate grit in the production, at the moment a waste product, yielded technically surprising results. The smooth finish and color do not disappoint her, “and the strength and weight of the prototype are more beneficial than in the traditional variant.”
More Daria Biryukova > 09.08.2018
Photos: MorroW Shoots and Elina Lait