[ stabburs | espigueiros ] is the follow up of the project [ guardadores do campo ]. [ guardadores do campo ] was initiated by atelier urban nomads in the beginning of 2014 for Pegada Cultural, a cultural and educational programme run by EEA grants and DGARTES for exchange projects between Portugal and Norway. [ guardadores do campo ] became the research foundation for the implementation of a process-based art and architecture project in Leveld inspired on the vernacular structures that exist both in Norway and Portugal.
Espigueiros and Stabburs are ancient and vernacular structures that exist in Minho, Portugal, and in the region of Ål, Norway, as well as in many other parts of the world ( with a wide range of forms and made with local materials ). Today, many Espigueiros and Stabburs are run down or derelict. The purpose for which they were created is almost obsolete and they are often left abandoned, except when converted into different kinds of spaces. Though they can still be found everywhere in those regions, local people are generally oblivious of their existence. They grew around them, but know little about their history or function. Very few people still know how to build them or use them for their initial purpose. Espigueiros and Stabburs are neglected national architectural heritage. Their preservation is important as landmarks of those regions, as well as catalysts for new typologies that might better serve the current needs of the local people.
[ stabburs | espigueiros ] is a work-in-progress process that started in October 2014 and will be completed in the summer of 2016 when [ stabburgueiros ], the new community house in Leveld, will be built. It will be inspired by the form and functions of Espigueiros and Stabburs in relation to the social and physical transformations of Leveld and its inhabitants. The design will result from all the work that is being developed with children from the local school, the local inhabitants and Leveld Kunstnartun. Those spaces should be the result of a long journey, a collective process of discovery explored using different techniques, from film to drawing and building, finding out about the local people’s current needs, everyday habits and communal activities, inviting them to be part of a transformation process that will not only restore the cultural and heritage value of these beautiful and charismatic structures, but that will also give those involved the power to transform their built and social environment, contributing to change.