Living amphitheater is built with tubular straw wattles

Bittertang Farm
© Bittertang Farm

You are probably familiar with straw bale buildings, but what about straw wattles? Also known as straw worms, bio-logs, or straw noodles, these straw-filled tubes are cylinders of compressed, weed-free straw that is encased in jute, nylon or other biodegradable materials. Typically laid down as a form of erosion control, New York City and Mexico-based "design farm" Bittertang has instead created a living ampitheatre made of these tubular, straw-filled wattles.

Installed as a temporary performance space for Ragdale, a non-profit artists’ community located in Lake Forest, Illinois, the Buru Buru ampitheatre is constructed using a radial framework of trusses which the straw wattles are layered upon and attached to.

© Bittertang Farm

Looking something like a rolling knoll that is emerging from the soil, after some time, the wattles' covering will degrade, and plants, vines and mushrooms will flourish upon the structure. The cavernous interior is lit with LEDs to allow for nighttime performances, and one can imagine the tall tales that will be told by moonlight, inside this womb of straw.

© Bittertang Farm

Intended to gradually transform into a verdant hillside shelter that blends into its surroundings, Buru Buru stands out as an unconventional example of straw building techniques. You can see more images over at Designboom and Bittertang.

Tags: Designboom | Green Building | Illinois

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