Bamboo & Banyans: Hacking nature for architecture – 2023-02-21

Our first presentation since Covid was well attended. After an introduction to the topic, Felix presented real world examples, from Baubotanik in Germany to the living root bridges of Meghalaya, India. When explaining the history of this emerging field, he touched on arborsculpture.

Not all living architecture is started by humans. Having just come back from Penghu, Taiwan, Felix showed photos of trees overgrowing houses in the wild, as well as a photo of a seemingly impossible banyan, shaped by the elements. In Honduras and in Sri Lanka he initiated experiments for evaluating growth of figs on top of bamboo scaffolds.

Eventually the plan is to build in Hong Kong. Banyan trees are in abundance, and there is plenty of expertise on bamboo construction. The challenge is finding a site. In the end the main work, including decisions on design, will be done by the tree. It should therefore be considered co-creator in this collaboration between humans and nature.

Let’s figure out how we can responsibly hack nature for architecture!

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