ARCò | A School of Tyres | East Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territory

The starting constraints were rather complex: the difficulties that Palestinians have indeed to obtain building permissions from the Israeli’s Army was one of the reasons for choosing a non-conventional material, in order to build something that could not be defined as a permanent building. Furthermore velocity and simplicity in the construction, minimum costs and the use of local non-skilled manpower were a must. Last the project had to face the extreme climate conditions of the desert environment. From these constraints came up an innovative project that brings together the rapid and simple construction with a high-level of comfort conditions: a school of tyres.

A School of Tyres - Jahalin Bedouin village of Al Khan Al Ahmar (2009), Palestine

The building technique uses recycled tyres filled with soil, which have the multiple advantage of rapid and simple realization, high standard thermal insulation and static resistance. Bibliography on this subject and the number of realized examples are still limited, but results are astonishing. Earthships are maybe the first example of building realized with this technique; they were built in New Mexico under the guide of architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are very comfortable buildings, designed with a system of continuous water recycling, working with sustainable energy sources and bioclimatic design.

Construction Technique

Tyre is a zero-cost material, with high elasticity and resistance, thanks to the iron and gum elements which is made of. The internal woven iron threads make tyres an ideal building material. Moreover, the re-introduction in the lifecycle is a sustainable option for a material whose destiny is usually the garbage disposal. The filling of tyres made of highly pressed soil guarantees stability and resistance to compression forces and high thermal inertia too. Tyres fulfilled with soil are disposed in layers as big heavy bricks, and compose the bearing walls. The external lime and clay plastering protects tyres from solar radiation and avoids their decomposition and in this way any possible toxic release.

External Facade

TerraViva Competitions

Recently created as a new branch of "TerraViva", this specific section proposes a series of design competitions in line with the topics addressed by our workshops and mainly directed to architecture students, new graduates and young designers.

TACTICAL URBANISM NOW! The Reappropriation of Public Space will be the first competition of 2020. Starting from June 15th, registrations will be open until November 29th.


May 16th   "Milano Arch Week"

11:00 am - 7:00 pm Digital Marathon with a series of online Open Lectures by:  Petra Blaisse (Biblioteca degli Alberi); Peter Eisenman (Residenze Carlo Erba); Bjarke Ingels (CityLife); Rem Koolhaas (Fondazione Prada); Daniel Libeskind (CityLife); Patrik Schumacher – Zaha Hadid Architects (City Life); Kazuyo Sejima – SANAA (Campus Bocconi).

May 25th  "Milano Digital Week"

Online Edition | 25/05 - 30/05

June 5th  "Il Futuro degli Spazi Pubblici", 6:00 pm | Open Lecture



July 1st  "Tactical Urbanism Now! - The Reappropriation of Public Space" | TerraViva Competition #1

"Early" Registration Open from 15/06/2020 to  15/09/2020

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Recent Updates:

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, TerraViva Workshop has postponed all the programmed activities until January 1st 2021

Didactic ProgramDirector:

Richard Ingersoll

Scientific Coordination and Organization:

Eugenia Bolla

Stefano Lardera

Teaching Assistants:

Toufic Rifai

Matteo Pettinaroli

Omar Rota