We’re crazy about this gorgeous botanical garden in Medellin, Colombia that was renovated in 2008 by Plan B Architects. The Orquideorama is an organically expanding wooden meshwork of modular “flower-tree” structures that weaves its way through the garden’s heart. A stunning study on structure and scale, the project unites the micro and macro worlds through an elegant synthesis of cellular and architectural forms.
Architects Felipe Mesa and Alexander Bernal wanted the Orquideorama to grow in the same way that a garden seeds and develops, with one “flor-árbol” popping up next to another. This lead them to design the installation as a series of interconnected modular structures (14 in all) specialized for a variety of functions including event halls, butterfly reserves, and flower gardens. Fittingly, this repetitious cellular weave resonates with another organic structure: honeycomb.
Each “flor-árbol” is composed of a steel reinforced trunk and six hexagonal petals that form an intricately latticed patio. The plants situated beneath each trunk are sustained via rainwater collected by the petals, and are protected from the elements by the translucent pine wood weave that is sourced from reforested lands. Taken as a whole, the Orquideorama is a delicate display of the relationship and structural similarities between architecture and living organisms.
Photo Credits: Sergio Gómez (SG), Camilo Orozco (CO), Felipe Mesa (FM), Carlos Mario Rodriguez (CMR)