Did anyone see Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? There was a scene where Paul Rudd's Ant-Man sees buildings in the Quantum Realm moving. He says, "Is that building alive?" to which Veb replies in horror, "Yours are dead?!" This moment makes for a hilarious exchange in the movie, differentiating the difference in lifestyle between our realm and the Quantum Realm; however, we may be closer to having living buildings than you think!

Living Buildings Are a Thing of the Future

I truly believe that this could change the way that we look at architecture! This is an amazing concept and I hope to see more buildings like this in the future.

Not just that, I would love to see how we can incorporate the design ideas into current and modern homes. Currently residing by the Hudson River, there is a building made out of growing trees!

ARCH and Terreform ONE Create a Living Pavilion Near the Hudson River

The Fab Tree Hab pavilion, or "Living Pavilion," which resides in Upstate New York, is a project led by ARCH Productions and Terreform ONE. The idea behind this project has had a tree-like maturation period, starting from seed around 2002.

Habitat for Humanity had launched a design competition looking for new approaches to building suburban housing.

Lead architect Mitchell Joachim said,

“We wanted to use the powers of computing and fabrication systems and other ideas about how we could prototype this to nudge nature or help train nature to do the things it does naturally, but shape it into usable structures and eventually homes,”

The idea of shaping trees into usable structures is not necessarily a new concept. You can trace it back thousands of years, including examples from ancient manuscripts and even the Bible.

So why don't we have all of our homes like this? Well, it takes a long time to grow. So how can the process be expedited?

Joachim and his collaborators initially explored growing trees hydroponically and transplanting them into a scaffold. The idea behind this is that it would've given the trees height very quickly; however, the trees would not be nearly as strong as natural trees. That's what led the team at Terrform ONE to look into biomass farms, which grow trees that are harvested and burned to create electricity.

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Biomass farms grow tightly packed rows of trees that rise dozens of feet in height within just a few years. The tall, slender trees seemed perfect for use in the scaffold Joachim and his team envisioned.

The design shifted and the project was reoriented around replanting white willows harvested from a commercial biomass farm.

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The Fab Tree Hab pavilion uses these biomass farm trees, which are planted together in clusters, the trees make up a few dozen vertical ribs of the pavilion. Designed to graft together over time into a thicker tree, each cluster forms what will be a pillar of the building.

While the trees are still young, they are much more pliable and easier to bend into the scaffolding. 

The ribs of the scaffold guide the trees upwards and along the path of what will eventually be a sloping pitched roof. In the wall space between the vertical trees, the scaffold is outfitted with planters and habitat for other plant and animal species, each made from biodegradable materials like hand-crocheted jute and bioplastic.

After a year’s growth, it’s estimated that the tree elements will be able to physically support the weight of these planters and habitat structures.

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Joachim describes the habitat as "kind of a land coral, or terrestrial reef" because it attracts all kinds of creatures and plans to live inside it, around it and underneath it, which allows them all to thrive and cohabitate.

Terreform ONE

Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology] is a 501c3 nonprofit art, architecture, and urban design research group. They endeavor to combat the extinction of all planetary species through pioneering design acts. In addition, their projects aim to illuminate the environmental possibilities of habitats, cities, and landscapes across the globe.

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Terreform ONE operates as an interdisciplinary lab of specialists advancing the practice of socio-ecological design. The group cultivates resilience through innovations in building, transportation, infrastructure, water, food, waste treatment, air quality, and energy.

Their collaborative process includes speculating how emerging technologies will impact future urban generations and local biodiversity. We focus on the intersections of ecological planning, biotech architecture, urban systems, and public art. As an organization, they strive to develop inclusive spaces and strategies that manifest environmental and social justice for all beings.

ARCH Productions

ARCH Production's mission is to use the most sustainable fabrication means possible to create meaningful experiences through masterful design and superior craftsmanship.

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They are committed to building the highest quality product while causing the least possible harm and contributing to positive social and environmental change in our industry and the world. Sustainability is ARCH's core value; they take great measures to design with consideration to social and ecological impact.  They create uncompromising work while striving towards the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

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As experts in fabrication and production, ARCH is leading the fabrication industry with creative solutions to social and environmental needs  —  they see opportunities to do so embedded within every creative project. They take responsibility for the consequences of doing business and use our professional expertise and creative resources to prioritize sustainability at every phase of production.

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