A building doesn’t have to be a dry and dead thing. Italian artist Giuliano Mauri’s epic Cattedrale Vegetale (or Tree Cathedral) is the perfect example of architecture that, instead of competing with or complementing nature, is quite literally a part of it. The late artist’s two groves of trees are destined to grow into a pair of magnificent basilicas.
The Tree Cathredral is a unique building created out of rows of real living trees. Located at the foot of Mount Arera on the outskirts of Bergamo in Northern Italy, the cathedral is an ever-changing building that will be fully formed over the course of decades – when the trees outgrow their supporting columns and become a piece of natural architecture.
The architectural installation consists of 42 cage-like columns that form a five-aisle basilica. These are formed by weaving over 600 chestnut branches and 6,000 meters of hazel branches around 1,800 fir poles, joined together with wood, nails, and string to support 80 hornbeam saplings. The growing saplings will form the columns and their canopies will top the building with gorgeous steep arcs.
Mauri began the groundwork for the Tree Cathedral in Valsugana, Italy, in 2002. This preceded the second one in Bergamo, which was only completed in 2010, a year after the genius artist’s death.
More info: giulianomauri.com (h/t: mymodernmet, BBC)