BAUBOTANIK TOWER Neue Kunst am Ried 2009

The Baubotanik Tower is an experimental building that demonstrates new options for constructing with living plants. The architectural and ecological potential of Baubotanik principles become visible. The three-storey tower is nearly nine meters high. It covers a ground surface of around eight square meters. It is the first Baubotanik project to which plant addition techniques were applied. The interconnected plant structure was created from several hundred young White Willow trees (Salix alba). Only the lowest plants were put in the ground, all others were planted into special containers distributed across seven levels. During growth, the entire structure is supported by a removable metal tube scaffolding with earthscrew foundations. Until all plants have merged into a network-like structure, a simple pumping system constantly provides water to the plants in the containers. Careful monitoring is necessary to determine how long it takes until a self-supporting structure has evolved that can transport water and nutrients from the roots in the ground to the upmost leaves. Due to its experimental character, the tower can not be accessed by visitors. At present, its carrying capacity is hard to predict and has yet to be verified by load tests. The platforms made of galvanised steel grates are mainly used for maintenance and care.



Design and Implementation

Ferdinand Ludwig, Cornelius Hackenbracht



Andreas Ernst


Structural Engineering

Maximilian Baur



Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Sponsors



Der Preis der Universität Stuttgart für besondere wissenschaftliche Leistungen / Promotionspreis (Ludwig, 2013)

Ausgewählter Ort im Land der Ideen / Baubotanischer Turm (Luwig/Hackenbracht, 2010)



LUDWIG, F. 2012. Botanische Grundlagen der Baubotanik und deren Anwendung im Entwurf. Doktorarbeit (PHD), Stuttgart.

LUDWIG, F. 2014. Baubotanik - Designing Growth Processes. Symposium Form-Rule/Rule-Form, Universität Innsbruck.

LUDWIG, F. 2016. Baubotanik - Designing with living material. In: LÖSCHKE, S.K. Materiality and Architecture, London, Routledge.