Architecture / Green Rooftops

Grow your own Roof? Grow your own Building!

Hundertwasser was a pioneer of the fully planted roof. His  hugely eccentric and colourful works of Architecture, derived from organic forms And almost entirely without straight lines have had a massive impact on the preconception of what building should be like. It should be no surprise then, that in the decades following his buildings people have gone on to explore the idea of the building not just looking organic, but also being it.

For example, three German architects have gone on to work on what they call arbo-architecture.  Oliver Storz, Ferdinand Ludwig and Hannes Schwertfeger  all work on structures that are a combination of both trees and man-made materials to create something that is both living and organic as well as man-made. By training tree branches to grow in certain patterns and directions, a technique that has been used for centuries in both ornamental gardens and in orchards to increase the accessibility and productivity of fruit trees, they have created surprisingly ordered looking structures.
In actual fact though, it’s not just the idea of training trees to grow in specific ways that’s ancient. Trees have  also been used for centuries to create man-made structures.  In the Cherrapungee  area of India bridges have been grown out of trees for as much as 500 years. Unlike bridges made of dead organic material, these bridges actually strengthen overtime as the bows of the trees that make up the bridge mature. The flexibility that remains in living wood also means that the bridges are particularly hardy against the strong monsoon floods that affect the area every year.


That aside, there structures of outstanding natural beauty, challenging our preconceptions of what infrastructure needs to be and look likes they remind us that getting from a to B can be as much about working with nature as about battling against it.


Finally that brings us to the ideas of Mitchell Joachim, who has come up with the idea of a so-called Fab Tree Hab Village consisting of  houses prefabricated with computer numeric controlled reusable scaffolds to graft trees into the shape.   In fact UK takes the idea further saying we might not just grown buildings out of trees but also potentially out of the meat.  what would meet buildings bring us? You may ask.   Here at the Green Rooftop we’re  not sure, but it is an intriguing idea.

By Philippa



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