Living walls are great--they can reduce pollution, better insulate buildings, and lower the need for maintenance. But it's about time someone expanded the concept. So here's introducing the 'living building'--where trees are actually grown into the structure of a building and melded with cables and metal supports, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'green building'. The prototype for this new design has just been built in Germany--pics and details after the jump. Lloyd has reported on the fascinating project called Baubotanik before, but now, what's perhaps the greenest building ever has been completed. It was opened to the public today. Visitors to the building site will be able to mingle on its catwalk, to see for themselves how sturdy a building made from living trees can be.
This isn't just some green vanity project either--people will eventually actually be able to live and/or work in these living buildings.
Rows of willow trees growing nine meters high (30 feet) will form a square-shaped tower after a bridge was completed earlier using the same technique. The trees, bended and molded, will be intertwined with cables and metal supports, making them strong enough to eventually support people and furniture, said Ferdinand Ludwig, designer of the "living" structure.
The building will take around ten years to grow optimally sturdy, and would be ideal for metropolises lacking green areas--they'd help reduce pollution and keep the air clean, and provide a pleasant lively aesthetic. Keep your eyes out for more living buildings to crop up in the near future.
See the project website for more details and photos of the first living building