View Full Version : Houses Woven Out of Trees?
02-03-2006, 09:56 PM
Growing a home from living trees instead of building a home from felled timber is the goal of an architect from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mitchell Joachim, part of the MIT Media Lab's Smart Cities Group, along with ecological engineer Lara Greden and architect Javier Arbona, propose a home that is actually an ecosystem.
The Fab Tree Hab goes beyond sustainable housing and so-called green design — building with materials that have a low impact on the environment and human health.
"Not only does it do zero damage, but it will hopefully clean the air," said Joachim.
The habitat is based on an ancient gardening method known as pleaching, which weaves together tree branches to form living archways, lattices or screens.
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20 ... e_tec.html (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20060116/treehouse_tec.html)
03-03-2006, 01:04 AM
How cool is that? What a neat idea.
I have a friend who has made a trellaced walk way with various ornamentals woven together, but a whole house is a new idea... I would love to visit on if/when it is done.
BTW, we have two enormous trees we would love to make a tree house with. Looks like it could be a 4 story house as the trees could easily support the weight..... If it happens I will post some photos on our web page.
06-03-2006, 09:21 AM
The best part of this idea is that it's being developed with living trees in several different places in the world today. The idea of the house grown from trees is not new at all Swedenborg and Lorber wrote about it, Wiechula in Germany in the 30's produced a booklet filled with drawings.
Today Konstantin Kirsch has a 12-year-old living structure. He has not grown the watertight structure yet. The Holy Grail of this art form then is a watertight living tree house.
J.P. Wilkins in Sydney has a web site about Growing Homes http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Oaks/4769/ent.htm
Trees trunks will graft together. So there is no question that it can be done the question is how and who will grow the first one.
Think about fast growing trees in the tropics, banyan perhaps ?
08-03-2007, 07:32 PM
The plains indians would build longhouses by digging up saplings and planting them in two rows. Once the trees got tall enough, they would tie them together and thatch the sides. Over time, the trees would grow up and graft, eventually needing less and less thatch. I want to do this with the pines here in California. No goal, just have a few hundred seedlings that are trying to come up in my driveway, on the road, in the garden. . . Maybe my grandkids can move in....
Scott A. Meister
08-03-2007, 11:03 PM
I can just see one of us crazy 'mericans running with the whole "bigger is better" idea...and trying to graft and weave together a bunch of sequoias somewhere in Northern California. :lol:
10-04-2007, 05:01 PM
I love this idea - I wonder if it would work with casaurinas? We purchased 40 acres of land with lots of them growing just six months ago. I might start tying some together so they grow into the right shape.
11-04-2007, 02:34 AM
...but I could not find the name of the tribe which was doing this, any of you google experts think you can find out? It was in one of those spiffy "primitive technology" style books in the bosses library, but I can find nothing about it on google. Probably because it happened prior to 1995. ;)
I'm thinking about doing this with madrone. They root from cuttings amazingly (annoyingly? Ever have a brush pile start growing on you?) fast and are pretty receptive to pruning. That and I have them coming up almost like weeds. Doug fir is another "weed" which I care too much for to simply chop down, so I have been moving any saplings under four feet rather than cutting them down when clearing my roads.
Again though, another project for when I actually live on the property.
I live in South Louisiana, USA, where we grow lots of sugarcane. When I told my boss about the living tree house, she suggested I try to make a hut or a small building with sugarcane. Interesting idea, to say the least.
On edit: She called me back and suggested I make it a compost bin. She cracks me up.
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