trees

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Amazing Design

A Project Aims to Create the World’s Largest Hanging Garden Since Babylon Within the Branches of a 114-Foot Tree

March 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The French masterminds of mechanical delight, Les Machines de L’ile, have an ambitious new project underway. L’Arbre aux Hérons (The Heron’s Tree) is set to be the largest hanging garden built since ancient Babylon, spanning over 160 feet in diameter and reaching 114 feet into the sky. Their Nantes-based team describes the historic muses behind the project:

Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project. After the Grand Elephant and the Machine Gallery in 2007, the Carousel of the Sea Worlds in 2012, the Herons’ Tree is the third phase of the Island’s Machines. Coming out of the minds of François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.

Les Machines de L’ile have been working on The Heron’s Tree since their inception in 2007, and in the spirit of democratic discovery, their team of skilled craftspeople have been sharing the prototypes with visitors to the Machine Gallery. The sketches and mock-ups for the project include a giant steel tree topped with two herons that each carry twenty passengers on circular flights. Half of the tree’s twenty-two branches can be traversed on foot by visitors, and all of the branches will support hanging terraces of plants and gardens to create a lush ecosystem. The tree itself will be set in an old granite quarry on the cliffs of Brittany.

The goal is to open The Heron’s Tree in 2022, and two thirds of the 35 million euro project cost is being covered by public funding. Les Machines de L’ile is seeking to fund the rest through crowdfunding: you can contribute via Kickstarter. You can also track the project’s progress on Facebook.

A small-scale prototype

A prototype branch

Prototype herons

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Digital rendering of walkways

 

 

 



Design

A National Park-Inspired Chapel Composed of Branching Fractals by Yu Momeoda

February 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Agri Chapel is located within a national park on the northwest coast of Japan’s island of Kyushu. The chapel was constructed by Japanese architect Yu Momoeda, who wanted to reflect the surrounding forest by bringing tree-like forms into the building.

To create the structure’s central dome, Momoeda stacked wooden pillars in the shape of simplistic tree branches. This nature-based support system imitates the branching fractals found in trees, with ascending symmetrical patterns spread throughout the light-filled space. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Design

Yellow Street Lines Form a Park Bench Around a Tree in this Temporary Green Space by The Edible Bus Stop

October 16, 2017

Christopher Jobson

As part of the 2012 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in London, landscape and design consultancy The Edible Bus Stop conceived of a green space that incorporated gardens, artwork, and the conversion of a street into public space. The temporary exhibition titled Riot of Color was conceived as “a post apocalyptic interpretation of the after effects of the 2011 London riots.” One of the more novel aspects was this fun park bench designed as yellow street lines that rise from pavement to wrap around a tree. You can see more views on their website. (via Visual Fodder)

 

 



Art Craft

Aspen Trees Grow on Delicate Ceramic Vessels by Heesoo Lee

September 21, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Heesoo Lee brings the textural depth of aspen forest canopies to her sculptural bowls and vases. Lee painstakingly places each and every leaf by hand, building unique, organic trees that seem to come to life with their shimmering, colorful leaves. While the vibrant glazes add a lifelike layer, the pieces are equally stunning in their unglazed form. The Montana-based artist shares many progress shots and videos on her Instagram, and works are available for purchase on Etsy. (via Lustik)

An unglazed work in progress

 

 



Amazing Science

The Phenomenon Of “Crown Shyness” Where Trees Avoid Touching

August 14, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photo © Dag Peak. San Martin, Buenos Aires.

Crown shyness is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some tree species where the upper most branches in a forest canopy avoid touching one another. The visual effect is striking as it creates clearly defined borders akin to cracks or rivers in the sky when viewed from below. Although the phenomenon was first observed in the 1920s, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on what causes it. According to Wikipedia it might simply be caused by the trees rubbing against one another, although signs also point to more active causes such as a preventative measure against shading (optimizing light exposure for photosynthesis) or even as a deterrent for the spread of harmful insects. (via Kottke, Robert Macfarlane)

 

 



Art

Unbraided Rope Installations by Janaina Mello Landini Branch Like Roots and Nervous Systems

July 31, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Artist Janaina Mello Landini (previously) continues to produce dizzyingly complex installations and canvas-based sculptural works comprised of unbraided ropes that branch out like tree roots. The fractal-like artworks have developed over a period of six years as part of her “Ciclotrama” series, a word she coined that combines the root word “cycle” and the Latin word “trama” meaning warp, weaving, or cobweb. Via Zipper Galeria:

Janaina Mello Landini aggregates her knowledge of architecture, physics and mathematics and her perception on time to develop pieces that travel through different scales. The labyrinthine architecture has been the central axis of her research in the “Ciclotramas” series, made with ropes that break down into minimal threading, and “Labirintos Rizomáticos”, works in satin that result in the construction of multifocal perspectives, nullifying the traditional construction.

Landini has created numerous pieces for several shows and installations over the past year, most notably for an exhibition at Galleria Macca last June. You can see more of her recent work on Artsy and Zipper Galeria. (via Visual Fodder)

 

 



Art

A Large Suspended Tree Trunk Carved Down to a Frayed Rope by Maskull Lasserre

June 19, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Schrodinger’s Wood. Ash tree trunk, chain hoist, gantry. 156 x 16 x 15 inches

If you had to summarize an all-encompassing theme to describe Maskull Lasserre’s artistic practice, the word would probably be tension. From the balance of life and death to the opposing forces of war and peace, the Candian artist explores tension not only metaphorically but physically as well. Case in point, his latest piece titled Schrodinger’s Wood carved from the trunk of an Ash tree that relies on the tree’s inner core to serve as a tangled mass of rope in the process of fraying from the weight of itself. The work appears to share a kindred spirit to his sliced piano artwork, Improbable Worlds. You can see more views on his website.

 

 

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