At some point in history, we lived among trees. At least our common ancestor did. Are the skyscrapers we build today not a revisitation of this? Are we living in some kind of forest of trees again?
In the Mediterranean French town of Montpellier, an architect decided to build a 17-story high rise that makes no myth about its allusion to the trees.
Designed by a Japanese architecture firm in collaboration with two French companies, Arbre Blanc, or the “White Tree,” will feature housing, restaurant zoning, an art gallery and office space. The most interesting aspect of the design is its tree-like system.
With rooms, roofs, and patios all permeable and asymmetrical, like branches and canopies on a massive tree, the Arbre Blanc is distinctly biomimetic. The structure look like it grew from the ground and continues to reach to the sky.
Biomimetic trends are evident all over architecture and design. Velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks on burs. Research is underway to synthesize certain spider web silk that creates a stronger armor than Kevlar. Glues mimic the adhesive mussels form.
The Arbre Blanc is a biomimetic building that announces a full-force investment in imitating nature in engineering.
Biomimemtic architecture and design is efficient, regenerative, and stunningly simple. It represents the future of engineering and technology. We can learn from projects like Arbre Blanc and understand that we’ll have a much easier time in the future if we adopt biomimetic habits.
Photo Credit: Nicolas Laisné Associates
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