February 22, 2024

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Arbortecture – Ultimate in Building Green, Live Trees Grown Into Useful Items

Arbortecture is like architecture but with living trees. Trees have unique redeeming ecological uses. Because of that fact a group of young architect have focused on developing a living tree-house at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. The students have a test site is located on the grounds of University at the Institute of Basics in Modern Architectural Design; the experiment is run by, Ferdinand Ludwig, Oliver Storz and Hannes Schwertfeger. The team attached year-old willows to the scaffolding, bending them into shape. More trees are then grafted on, they grow together. After several years, the growing trees take over as load-bearing supports. Finally, the supports can be removed and the entire rig can be moved to its final destination, where the floors can then be slotted into place.

The Fab Tree Hab this design was developed at MIT by Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. Lara Greden, Ph.D. Javier Arbona, M.S. the team envisions the this house that contributes to the environment is grown with kitchen compost, circulates water, and provides for shelter.

The living bridges of Cherrapunji, India are grown using the living roots of the Ficus elastica tree. The native peoples for as long as five hundred years have guided the growth of the roots to create these amazing bridges. The bridges are growing and gaining strength as they age.

Marcel Kalberer from Germany, has made a career of planting large bundles of willow to create structures of amazing detail. These bundles sprout and cover the structures with green leaves. The Museum of Outdoor Art in Englewood, Colorado, presents “Weidenblume” a living willow sculpture by German artists Marcel Kalberer and Sanfte Strukturen. Their first work preformed in the US will be installed in June of 2010.

Arborsculpture is the art of shaping young trees into useful or artistic shapes, furniture, bridges even a ladder has been grown with living tree trunk. Pioneered by Axel Erlandson who opened a roadside attraction in 1947 featuring his unique trees. Today this garden art is sprouting up among master gardeners, landscapers and home hobbyist around the world. Anyone with room for trees can play with bending and grafting and even grow their own living garden chair.