Treehouses are nothing new to enterprising kids, but a group of architects at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have brought a new twist to the idea: the first tower made entirely out of living trees. The “baubotanical” building, which measures 9 meters high with a base area of 8 square meters, is made up of hundreds of White Willow plants, which will eventually fuse together to form a single, giant mega tree.

baubotanical, living building, stuttgart
Building the structure wasn’t easy. Plants at the base of the building were plugged into the soil, while others were placed in containers attached to a temporary steel scaffolding. When the root structure is strong enough, the plant containers will be removed. And once the structure can carry three steel platforms, the scaffolding will be taken down. The whole process is expected to take between 8 and 10 years, but a green wall should sprout in the coming year.

The baubotanical building isn’t just being built for the fun of it–the architects involved are researching both tree elasticity and how trees can grow around steel supports. If the living tree tower pans out as expected, the concept could be used as a natural building option for everything from bridges to pavilions to bird-watching stations.

Want to check out the baubotanical tower for yourself? The display will open to the public on September 19 in Wald-Ruhestetten, Germany.

Via Science Daily