Once a far-fetched futuristic idea, a living tree building is now not only possible but is also a reality – amazing living architecture that uses growing trees as their structural supports, twisted, shaped and connected as they make their way skyward.
These so-called Botany Buildings by students from the University of Stuttgart use trees that meet a series of critical criteria, from fast growth rates to flexibility, adaptability and durability. The core structures are augmented with artificial elements and can be used to support everything from rooms and platforms to towers and walkways.
Unlike conventional construction, there are many unique challenges that come with custom tree building techniques. Connections must be checked and added by hand as growth progresses, variations in strength have to be accounted for and stability is paramount – these are just some the flip-sides of using living and growing materials.
While there are limitations to this kind of construction, tree buildings have a great deal of potential for do-it-yourself types who enjoy having a hand in the creation of their own alternative-style abode.