Walls and surfaces that literally breathe, swallow, and wave to gently create a healthy building environment are just some of the many aspects that make Hylozoic Ground anything but static architecture.
The work is an interactive environment with layers of architectural scaffolding, geotextiles, sensors, bladders, and environmental membranes that act as filters responsive to human presence. Spanning between architecture, sculpture, and technology, Hylozoic Ground uses biomimicry to imitate natural processes while creating a carbon-negative architecture.
Lightweight scaffolding creating tree-like columns and canopies forms the structure for active filters in the shape of fronds and whiskers that collect moisture and particles from the air. Chemical systems employing protocells have been engineered to capture carbon and convert it into a solid material that could be used not only to reinforce building foundations, but also to grow protective facades or symbiotic urban infrastructures.
Hylozoic Ground is part of a series of complex experiments that look to make the future of a living architecture a reality. It reacts directly to today’s challenges of climate change and the need to alter our current building practices through the development of a responsive and self-generative architecture.
Rather than relying on cumbersome mechanical systems and impermeable walls to regulate our indoor environments, the project seeks to create a more mutual – and self-renewing – relationship of exchange between humans and their surroundings. Much like gardening or cooking, the innovations employed become part of a cycle in which human input actually nourishes the architecture that then, in turn, nourishes our own experience.
The Hylozoic series are based on more than ten years of research from architect and sculptor Philip Beesley, synthetic biologist Dr. Rachel Armstrong, and engineer Dr. Rob Gorbet. This latest version served as Canada’s entry at the 2010 International Architecture Biennale in Venice, with a new prototype to be showcased later this month in Salt Lake City.
For more information, watch Philip Beesley at the Biennale below: