The Plane-Tree-Cube Nagold is the biggest baubotanical building so far and the first one that is designed specifically for an urban context. It is a contribution for the regional horticultural show 2012 in Nagold and will be part of a number of town houses afterwards. While these houses are made out of stone and placed in a green garden, it is just the reverse with the Plane-Tree-Cube: The building itself is the plant which is rising from a mainly stone-covered square.
By entering the buiding, the visitor will be received by the shady coolness of a tree-crown that is both, a natural and an architecturally designed space. There are all the sensuous qualities one knows from naturally grown trees and forests: like the leaves swoshing in the wind or their dancing shadows. However, by its geometrical design and the different levels and staircases its architectual character becomes evident. The building is a constructed tree, an regular cube, that will change its shape over the years.
Furthermore these spacial and sensuous qualities make the environmental potentials of Baubotanik tangible: The air is cooled by the high evaporation power of the leaves which create thereby a pleasant microclimate. And by the large surface of the leaves the plant construction is in the position to absorb a material amound of fine dust.
During the horticultural show the building will be an event: Visitors are allowed to enter the platforms and facilities indicated for maintanance. Thereby they get in contact with the structure where technical facilities fuse with growing plants. The atmosphere is shaped on the one hand by pipes, regulators, sensors and valves and on the other hand by the fresh green of the young leaves and shoots which sprout everywhere all over the green walls.
Despite its technical character the space inside is a nearly meditative space of silence. The walls – being full of leaves – filter the audible flurry of the venue and during the irrigation intervals a steady dripping is audible. Unnoticed and hidden behind the leaves visitors can overlook the activities on the area of the horticultural show from the top level. And with some fantasy they can envision how the building might look like in the future.
During the growth processes in the following years, the fundamental geometry of the plant structure does not change – but the proportion of the building does: At the outset a homogeneous green wall arises; an area of leaves that reaches from the ground up to the top of the building. In process of time – as soon as the plants are grown together – a crown arises above the baubotanical structure. Whereas in the lower part the framework-like structure of the stem increases in strength. As soon as the plants are grown thick and stable enough the temporary struts should be removed. By and by the fresh green gives way for a gnarly structure and the typical bark of a plane-tree emerges.
Within the "Holzbaupreis Baden-Württemberg 2012", the project won the "Specialprize for Innovation".
Design and realization task
- Planning team:
Landesgartenschau Nagold 2012
- Structural engineering:
- Horticultural consulting:
- Horticultural implementation:
Karl Walker GmbH
- Plant pre-production: