Competition & Research
Kew Gardens, Pitys Pinetum
March 2022

This hybrid CLT / thatched pavilion was our proposal for the @kewgardens tree-house design competition. ⁠
Our contribution entitled 'Pitys Pinetum: ⁠Roof, roots & revolution ' was inspired by the mythological metamorphosis of Pitys and the inter-species collaboration of symbiotic forest-fungal networks Pitys Pinetum seeks to illustrate the deep connection between all things as well as the need for a new way of seeing non-human entities and inter-being. ⁠

We explored this idea through an atmospheric and tactile exploration of the ontology of genus Pinus. We proposed pavilion where visitors could experience the essence of pines, how they have been exploited as a resource and how we may form a new caring and regenerative relationship of co-existence as we take steps to reverse the planetary crises. ⁠

Traditional ecological knowledge, forgotten building crafts and vernacular techniques, biology, deep-time and new thinking in materials science and regenerative ecology root the building in the past but also create a glimpse of hope for a resilient future. ⁠

We suggested a new form of hybrid-structure, new CLT building technologies are incorporated with vernacular building crafts. A giant roof or tent-like structure is constructed with CLT sheets which are perforated to form large weaving frames for a thatched rain-screen. Reminiscent of Bivouac shelters the treehouse invites visitors to ponder on the Age of the Symbiocene through the heart of an old pine tree. ⁠

Interior fabric proposed as atmospheric fabric made from waste Christmas trees.⁠