As summer ends, mushroom tower at MoMA PS1 returns to compost

Composting bricks
© Margaret Badore

The Hy-Fi tower at the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens was “designed to disappear.” Built from bricks made of mushroom roots and cornstalks, designer David Benjamin told TreeHugger in July that the material can be composted in just 60 days.

Composting mushroom bricks© Margaret Badore

With the summer drawing to a close, the composting process is now part of the installation. The structure is slowly being disassembled, and some of the material is composted on-site, in a small garden that's made from one of the structure’s three circular bases. The other bases remain partially intact, offering the visitor some sense of how the tower appeared before.

Composting mushroom bricks© Margaret Badore

The structure not only fulfilled a physical need by providing shade and respite from the heat during summer events at the museum, but the construction and deconstruction demonstrate the lifecycle of these sustainable and renewable materials. Fittingly, one of the plants growing in the the courtyard is corn, making a kind of symbolic closed-loop for this material.

Read more of our interview with Benjamin and the Ecovative mushroom materials here.

Composting the mushroom tower© Margaret Badore

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