oak trees which were planted around Kassel that summer.
In Kassel, Carl Giskes met clay buildings architect, Klaus Johannes Eckert, an admirer and student of the Egyptian architect Hassen Fathy. He also got to know Gernot Minke, the first professor of clay architecture at the University of Kassel. Carl Giskes had found his inspiration and spent the next few years learning all he could about building in clay.
In 1986 Carl moved to Amsterdam where he worked on creating the Adobe Pavilion at the 1990 conference “Art Meets Science and Spirituality in a Changing Economy”. Among the many panel discussions that took place here was one between the American artist Robert Rauschenberg and the Dalai Lama.
Carl Giskes decided to stay in the Netherlands and in 1992 he founded the company Leembouw Nederland, which later became Tierrafino. It was the first company in the Netherlands to focus exclusively on the production and distribution of clay products and triggered the realisation that clay was a beautiful and healthy building material. Moreover, Carl Giskes was the first person
“A growing number of architects came to realise that clay is above all a healthy choice of material,” Carl Giskes recounts. And some of these architects, such as the Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron, carried considerable weight. The press was also unanimously positive about his products. One journalist wrote that he had, “taken the use of clay to new heights of elegance and sophisticated beauty”.
Tierrafino has been based in Archangelkade near the Minerva Docks in Amsterdam since 2008. In its factory and office spaces, Tierrafino demonstrates how organic building materials like clay, straw and lime plaster can be used to create healthy interior climates with the welcome side-effect of natural colours. In collaboration with the company Leemwerk, Tierrafino built a rammed-earth pavilion inside the warehouse and finished it off with tadelakt during a series of workshops.
All Tierrafino products are produced in the factory and distributed from there.
The factory also serves as a showroom, studio, laboratory, test area and classroom. This is where new products are conceived, developed, tested and displayed. And workshops, meetings and exhibitions by artists are regularly held here.
Tierrafino is a brand in motion. Carl Giskes and his colleagues are constantly looking to improve the products and to develop new ones. He fervently believes in his mission: to make an essential contribution to creating a beautiful, healthy and environmentally-friendly living environment in which people feel truly at home.<<