in a distant future, will there be living biological structures with architectural and inhabitable qualities? ones where our climate and environment can gain from our living conditions? designer simon hjermind jensen of SHJworks hopes so, and offers a vision of this destiny through his project, ‘biotope’. located in copenhagen, the project address two words and their content: bios — meaning ‘life’ in greek, and topos meaning ‘place’. the resulting installation is an experiment to understand how a microcosm of plants and insects can survive when sited at an exposed and harsh urban location.

 

 

the 7 meter long, 3 meter tall ‘biotope’ comprises a bowl of concrete, a shell of polycarbonate, soil, plants, insects, bees, and a beehive made of plywood. SHJworks has set the project on a small triangular green space in the middle of an intersection in copenhagen. a train station is nearby, and a three lane road is adjacent — not necessarily an ideal place for floral and fauna habitation, but that’s the idea. will future dwellings and cities support the integration of plants and biological microcosms, and would they thrive?

 

 

the sculptural and organic shell of ‘biotope’ mimics the silhouette shape of a primitive organism or bacteria, exploring the idea of human’s relationship to such a form. ‘can feelings of sympathy towards objects or structures establish a stronger and more caring relationship to the place in which we live and inhabit?,’ jensen asks. the shell is made of transparent 4 millimeter thick polycarbonate, which acts as membrane in protecting plants inside from the harsh external conditions. 

 

 

surrounding it, the edge of the bowl functions as a bench, and collects rainwater that flows into a basin of soil through small holes in the shell. in turn, the plastic shell and the concrete bowl become a self-watering greenhouse. sixty different seeds have been sown into the soil, which will continue to attract insects as they mature. a beehive is attached on the inside of the shell, allowing bees to have direct access to both the outside and the inside of the ‘biotope’.

 

 

the temporary project — sited for a three year period — will receive no maintenance or interference. how the plants and insects — both inside and out — will evolve or thrive is an experiment left to experience over time. 

 

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news