Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grow your own building

I've been very impressed with my little self this summer, I set out to grow a mini garden on my fire escape and I now have a lush space with tomatoes, kale, spinach, plenty of herbs and even a flowering vine. But then I read this on Treehugger today and I'm green with envy (pardon the pun).

German architect Ferdinand Ludwig is creating a whole new branch of architecture: he grows buildings. Ludwig and fellow architects, Oliver Storz and Hannes Schwertfeger, call their new specialty "building botany." As part of this the three men are building structures made from plants as well as studying the elasticity of plane trees and examining how effectively willows can grow around steel pipes at the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Basics in Modern Architectural Design.

"The basic rule is this: All forces pass through the wood, from top to bottom," Schwertfeger explains. And the trio has already built their first structures. For example on Lake Constance where a group of willows surround a metal walkway. And in the Bavarian Forest, trees form a "diagonal support frame" for a bird watching station. And now the pioneers are planning to build a "green room" in downtown Stuttgart. The project, dubbed "Satellite," will consist of a 120-square-meter (1,290-square-foot) pavilion for exhibitions and concerts.

It would be great if we saw some of these buildings "sprout" up around Williamsburg instead of the metal monstrosities that are destroying our landscape.

No comments: