Carlo Ratti Associati Develops Architectural Structure Made of Mushrooms for 2019 Milan Design Week

Carlo Ratti Associati Develops Architectural Structure Made of Mushrooms for 2019 Milan Design Week

Carlo Ratti Associati, in partnership with global energy company Eni, has developed an architectural structure made of mushrooms. The 'Circular Garden' project is composed of a series of arches, made from a record one-kilometer-long mycelium. The installation is on view as a prototype at Brera's Orto Botanico, the city's botanical garden, as part of the INTERNI Human Spaces exhibition.

"As we continue our collective quest for a more responsive 'living' architecture, we will increasingly blur the boundaries between the worlds of the natural and the artificial," said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. "What if tomorrow we might be able to program matter to 'grow a house' like a plant? Milan's amazing botanical garden, in the center of the city, seemed the ideal place for such an experiment."

The project applies the 'inverted catenary' method, used among others by the great Catalan architected Antoni Gaudí. A series of 60 arches compose a number of 'open rooms' scattered throughout Milan's Botanical Garden. The building mycelium was grown from soil over the past six weeks - and will return back to the soil at the end of the month in a fully circular manner.

The installation is open to the public from today through April 19, 2019.

Photography: Marco Beck Peccoz