The Baubotanik Tower is a test and demonstration building. It exemplifies new possibilities of engineering with living plants and visualizes the architectual and ecological potential of Baubotanik.
The building has a footprint of about eight square meters and a hight of barely nine meters with three walkable levels. It is the first baubotanical project which was realized by using the plant addition method. The vegetable structure was made out of one hundred young 2-meter-high silver willows (Salix alba). Only the lowest plants were bedded into the ground, whereas all others rooted in special plant containers arranged on seven different levels.
The whole construction is supported by a temporary steel tube scaffold which is embedded in the ground on a screw base – a structure which always can be removed again. The plant containers are constantly kept wet to ensure the necessary water for the plants. On that contition, all plants will completely intergrow with each other. Thereby it shall be examined how long it takes for the structure to get water and nutriens out of the ground independently.
Due to its experimental character the structure is not designed as a publicly walkable facility. The zinc-coated steel-grating levels are basicly used for maintainance and care. The load capacity of the vegetable supporting structure is at present difficult to prognaosticate and shall be proved by weight tests.
Traces are made out of two plants arranged in form of a rhombus to create the plant structure. At their crossing points they are connected to the horizontal arranged levels. In process of time, the plants merge together and join to a vigorous connection with the levels. Thereby they develop a timber-framed supporting structure. As soon as the living structure is stable enough to support the ingrown levels and take over the loading capacity, the scaffold will be removed. Depending on many factors, this process can not been predicted. It shall be studied at this structure. Therefore a period of about 5 up to 10 years is expected. Then the plants will take up vertical forces and solely through the combination with the horizontal arranged technical modules a stiffening structure originates.
Experimental building within the PhD intentions of Ferdinand Ludwig, supervised by Prof. Dr. Gerd de Bruyn (IGMA) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck (PBG Freiburg)
- Planning team:
Scholarship of the DBU, Sponsoring
Neue Kunst am Ried