a giant birdhouse rises above lausanne to address soil scarcity in urban areas

a giant birdhouse rises above lausanne to address soil scarcity in urban areas

an 18-meter-high birdhouse in switzerland doubles up as an artificial tree and addresses the issue of soil scarcity in cities. designed by swiss architects comte/meuwly, the three-legged monument supports an oversized mistletoe ball, which serves a nest box for birds while helping to support the lifecycle of the plant.



the project — titled ‘amour éternel’ or ‘eternal love’ — calls attention to mistletoe’s possible extinction caused by the lack of fertile ground and a diminishing number of birds. mistletoe is an ‘epiphyte’ plant, which means that it grows on the surface of another – in this case the branches of other trees – and so it depends on thriving green areas to survive. it also relies on birds to eat the berries, digesting the fleshy part and spreading the seeds through excretion.



rising above lausanne, switzerland, the structure occupies a once-green promenade in an area that has faced rapid urbanization over the years. all that is left is a humble patch of grass known as the messidor meadow where many of the city’s remaining birds have settled.



‘the messidor square, named after the month of the harvest in the revolutionary calendar, should be sown and fertile but today, the quality of its soil contradicts its toponymy,’ comte/meuwly explains. ‘its territory is being gradually gnawed by buildings, the school, its large gym hall and its bitumen yard.’



respecting the site’s foundations, the tripod limits its footprint to three small points. meanwhile, the giant man-made structure serves as a sanctuary, encouraging birds to feed before spreading the plant to other green areas in the city.


‘the park of ‘eternal love’ becomes the epicenter of a wider action,’ the architects add. ‘at a height of 18 meters, a large birdhouse, which loves mistletoe berries and transports them to sow them further, reveals a potential for densification in height.’




project info


architects: comte/meuwly

team: comte/meuwly architectes, adrien comte, adrien meuwly

artists: huber.huber, reto huber & markus huber

landscape architects: johannes von pechmann

location: lausanne, switzerland

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