grow your own architecture
 
grow your own architecture
jul 23, 2009

grow your own architecture

a conventional support structure is built for the trees to grow around, and after a few years, it can be removed and the ‘arbo-architecture’ can support itself image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

three young german architects, oliver storz, ferdinand ludwig and hannes schwertfeger, are designing structures made from living trees.

ludwig is grafting trees together – trunk to top, top to trunk – by seven young willow trees, with a scaffold used to support the tree tower. restricting the way in which the trees grow, allows the roots of the trees to protrude sideways and into containers of soil. as the trees reach a certain point, the roots are cut off, which allows them to merge into a single organism. to construct this type of architecture, he uses one-year-old willows that are a minimum of 10 meters (33 feet) long and those that are are thin and flexible. when they have matured to full strength, the trees will be able to support an 8 meter (26 foot) tower that he plans to build in south germany at the end of this month.

with his colleagues, storz and schwertfeger, they have called their specialty ‘botany building’. each of them have built structures built from plants, studying the elasticity of trees and researching how effectively willows can grow around steel pipes. they feel that trees are building materials equivalent to steel and concrete.

the beginning of any ‘arbo-architecture’ project requires the architects to build a conventional support structure. once this is done, young, flexible trees are attached to the structure and over the course of time the branches and trunks are manipulated into desired shape. as they grow, they begin taking on more of a load-bearing function. after they have been harvested this way for a few years, the support structure can be removed and the architecture of the trees can stabilize themselves, and the potential for roofs and floors can be installed.

grow your own architecturea conventional support is built so that flexible trees can be attached and manipulated into desired form image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

grow your own architectureover a few years, the trees take on more of a load-bearing function and able to support more weight image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

grow your own architecturemetal fasteners stop sap from flowing image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

grow your own architecturein order to build architecture in this way, the trees need to be closely monitored and maintained image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

grow your own architecturea small version of this type of growing architecture image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

grow your own architectureimage courtesy of ferdinand ludwig and der spiegel

grow your own architecture

grow your own architecturecurrently, the group is working on constructing a tree tower image courtesy of development society for botany building and der spiegel

designboom is currently hosting the ‘green life’ competition. the incheon metropolitan city, korea is giving a major award for environmentally-friendly concepts, products and household items, all using alternative energy and/or made of organic or recycled materials. accepted are also ideas for street furniture, architecture and interior design, lighting devices, and effective ‘green communication’ projects, such as promotional materials / advertisement. this is really a RICH contest as designboom will be able to distribute a total amount of USD 41,000.

source der spiegel

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  • Have no problem with eating a dead cow or using a dead tree as wood. Eating a fish while it still alive because you are bored of sushi or forcing a living plant to support an structure because you are bored of wood is shameful

    grisch
  • it’s an amazing idea ­čśÇ LOVE IT!

    lavender
  • for dem treehuggers …

    ok well let the trees grow in freedom, in the woods and when they have a nice size well cut’em to make a normal woodbuilding …

    happy now ?

    rbt
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