Atelier Schmidt, based in Trun, Switzerland, designs and constructs sustainable houses using straw as its main building and insulation material. Eco-friendly, available in abundance and inexpensive, are only three of the advantages straw has to offer as a building material. “We want to realise sensual buildings that are independent, fair to the next generation and are built, operated and demolished with the smallest ecological footprint possible,” says architect and founder Werner Schmidt. Trying to avoid pollutants in buildings is one of the main factors. As is to make builder-owners as independent as possible when it comes to overheads like heating, electricity, water supply or sewages. “Thanks to the deliberately chosen natural materials, we create private wellness oases for body, soul and spirit.” Werner Schmidt’s inspiration is nature, “but also my former professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna, Hans Hollein”.