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Serendipitous architecture

September 26, 2011

Well, it’s officially my last week working in my current job in a landscape architecture firm. It’s been interesting, I’ve learned a ton, but one of the things that really piqued my interest was a comment from one of the firm’s principals the other day. One of his clients was upset that his privet hedges might be affected by a disease sweeping a New England residential island which then lead him to question what that really meant. Was his design supposed to stay static forever or change as external factors played a role in the environment? We generally assume that traditional architecture should be stable and permanent, so what of landscape architecture?

Designers Ferdinand Ludwig, Oliver Storz and Hannes Schwertfeger are embracing this debate in what they call an “aesthetic of uncertainty”. They have created a really cool project in Stuttgart, Germany which is testing and modeling the use of natural materials in architecture. They designed a footbridge, built on a low lying wetland using small willows as support. As the willows grow (and they do quite rapidly) they will strengthen around the metal structure. The designers characterize this form of architecture — using living materials — as serendipitous.

photos: the architect’s newspaper

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jon Bouton permalink
    October 2, 2011 11:36 am

    I joined about 25 other volunteers yesterday picking up trash left by Tropical Storm Irene in floodplain forests along the White River in Vermont. Your blog stimulated me to me wonder….. Wouldn’t it be fun to grow a treehouse / studio among the sprouts from uprooted trees?

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