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Chozos, Houses of Nomadic Shepherds

Submitted by

Alba Balmaseda Dominguez Kyra Bullert Špela Setzen Markus Vogl


The chozos are traditional huts that, up until about fifty years ago, were built by shepherds in rural Spain as they moved around the fields with their sheep. This chozo was constructed in September 2022 by sixteen students from the University of Stuttgart during an intense exchange with experts in southern Spain.

The students spent two weeks in Cabeza del Buey, a village in Extremadura, constructing two chozos. One was built in a traditional manner and remained on site; the other was demountable, and transported from Spain to Germany after the workshop, where it was displayed at the University of Stuttgart at a 1:1 scale.

As Spaniards and Germans poured their knowledge, doubts, and enthusiasm into building these chozos with 100% natural and local materials, situations arose that could only be solved through intuition and know-how, resulting in an intense exchange of tacit knowledge through learning-by-doing.

Submitted by
Alba Balmaseda Domínguez, Kyra Bullert, Špela Setzen and Markus Vogl are members of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Stuttgart. The Project “Chozos” is a collaboration between “e1nszue1ns” platform, founded in 2015 as a knowledge transfer project group at the faculty and the departments IRGE (Institut für Raumkonzeptionen und Grundlagen des Entwerfens, Prof. Markus Allmann) and SuE (Lehrstuhl Stadtplanung und Entwerfen, Prof. Dr. Martina Baum). The project has been strongly supported financially and in terms of content by the German Sto-Stiftung, the municipality of Cabeza del Buey and the Spanish Embassy in Switzerland.

Students: Lucas Apfelsbacher, Kim Bache, Konrad Bornemann, Friedhelm Christ, Sophia Frischmuth, Vroni Geiselbrechtinger, Valentin Kiesel, Julia Knölker, Marie Kuch, Lilian Paczkowski, Johannes Pfaff, Yannik Pfaff, Inga Schmidt, Mahnaz Shahriyari, Beatrice Suttrop, Valentin Zachmann; Teaching team: Prof. Markus Allmann, Alba Balmaseda Domínguez, Prof. Dr. Martina Baum, Kyra Bullert, Špela Setzen, Prof. Markus Vogl; Experts on site: Pablo García Muñoz, Consuelo Martín-Moyano Blázquez, Fidel Bravo Sánchez, Maria Del Mar Bravo Delgado, Javier García Bravo, Rafael Domínguez Moreno and Julián Romero (shepherds); Jesús Fernández López y José Milara (Bioconstrucciones prefabricadas Brizna); Lisa Carignani (PhD candidate RomaTre University); Juan José Benítez Ruiz Moyano (Historian and Councillor of Environment of Cabeza del Buey); Ana Belén Valls Muñoz (Mayoress of Cabeza del Buey); special thanks to Pastora and Jacinta, the donkeys who helped us.


This object is part of the TACK Exhibition “Unausgesprochenes Wissen / Unspoken Knowledge / Le (savoir) non-dit”, in the section “Codes and Communities”.


After the exhibition…

Valentin Kiesel, Johannes Pfaff and Markus Vogl moved with the assistance of Korinna Zinovia Weber, Jonas Pfändler and Sonja Flury the Chozo on 20th July in almost one piece to the garden of Studio Tom Emerson at ETH Zurich.