Valle de SensacionesAchim Burkard
Yátor, Andalucía, 18448, Spain
Visits are available with prior contact and reservation.
About the Artist/Site
The concept of creating “eco-villages” in different parts of the world is growing – particularly in areas that have experienced challenges due to natural disasters; disruptive or damaging agricultural or industrial extraction practices; or population loss due to insufficient employment opportunities. One of these, the Valle de Sensaciones in southern Spain, has taken the ecological self-sufficient and sustainable mandate further, turning it into a kind of artistic theme park, driven by German artist and traveler Achim Burkard.
Begun some fifteen years ago, Burkard’s vision has developed into a small eco-community, fueled by the sun, washed by a nearby stream, and energized by the skills brought by the different people who come to share their talents. There is music and dancing, workshops and work projects, and all of the built environment is laced together primarily from materials found on site. The intent is to live an engaged, constructive, and fulfilling life in harmony with nature.
Some of the architectural elements are multifunctional – such as the Octagon, featuring a community-made mandala – which serves as dining room, dance hall, and space for meetings and workshops. This was primarily built from local clay, strengthened with local esparto grasses and beams from trees on site. This structure, as with every other building within this complex, reveals its organic roots and creation with no straight lines.
Experimental building methods are de rigueur; one example is a roof made from braided rope covered by burlap and coated with a light mixture of clay and agave, as well as with perlite and other “gifts” from the stream, then covered in plastic and surfaces with lime, sand, and goat hair. There are green “living constructions” in which the supporting trees continue to flourish, as well as treehouses and caves. The walls of the composting toilet are ornamented with trencadís ceramic designs referencing the local landscapes; the washing machine is powered by a bicycle; and the solar cooker also sports free-form designs created from trencadís.
The Valle de Sensaciones is affiliated with the Global Ecovillage Network. According to its website, “We aspire to be a place of inspiration and cooperation among artists, artisans, technicians and creative people. A fertile floor from which will surge new initiatives linking art, ecology, and technology.” Visits are available with prior contact and reservation.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Map & Site Information
Yátor, Andalucía, 18448 es
Latitude/Longitude: 36.956463 / -3.13719
Guainos Bajos, Andalucía