18-06-10 // ATREE? Finalist

Imagine a project that does not need to be constructed, because – being a tree – it grows by itself. Such a project only needs to be planted. Therefore the transportation of the materials for such a project is very energy efficient, because as a matter of fact, no major transportation of materials is actually necessary. The only materials to be transported are the seeds for planting. And the only energy spent is to prevent hastiness and impetuousness as such a project needs a lot of time and patience to grow.

But this proposed project is not only a tree. It is a living installation that is made out of several trees. It can be used for pleasure, relaxation or as an exhibition space. Once the seeds have been planted, the installation takes around thirty months to grow into its final form. Nevertheless it can be used in several playfull ways already during the process of growth. The tree used for the installation is a fast growing willow that reaches a hight of more than two meters in only one year. As the proposed project is a living installation, its life cycle and ecobalance is very efficient as it does not cause any environmental or social damages. To weave the willow into different shapes for different living installation, the bioplastic Polyamide 11, made of castor plant vegetal oil, can be used as a mold. The molds can easily be transported by bike to the site and fixed simply to the trees.

Title: Atree?
Project: European Competition of Architecture, Design, Realisations in Eco and Agro-Materials
Date: June 2010
Type: International Competition
Organizer: Region Picardie and the Free State of Thueringen
Participants: 336
Ranking: 22.
Location: Picardie, France and Thueringen, Germany
Programme: Installation
Status: Competition
Client: Regional Council of Picardie and the Free State of Thuringia
Awards: Finalist
Publications: D-Magazine, #712, Cultural supplement of la Repubblica, Italy
Exhibitions: Salon Ecobat in Paris, March 2011
Team: Bernd Upmeyer, Elena Barrigón García