MycoTree on Dezeen

Titled “Beyond Mining – Urban Growth”, scientists of the Department of Sustainable Construction at the Faculty of Architecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich presented a load-bearing structure made of fungal mycelium and bamboo as part of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, which gives a first impression of how the range of materials could be supplemented by renewable and recyclable materials in the future.

While some architects have been experimenting with mushroom mycelium as a cladding material, engineers Dirk Hebel and Philippe Block have gone one step further – by using fungi to build self-supporting structures.

Hebel, who leads the Sustainable Construction unit at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Block, who founded the Block Research Group at ETH Zürich, have created a tree-shaped structure consisting almost entirely of mycelium.

According to the duo, the material – which is formed from the root network of mushrooms – could provide the structure of a two-storey building, if it is designed with the right geometries.

“We want to show that there might be alternative construction materials that don’t get us in trouble with our world, but that needs to go together with some kind of designing,” explained Block.

Published on Dezeen in September 2017. Article written by Amy Frearson.