Compelled by the disappearance of house sparrows due to the depletion of their natural environment, students Micaela Nardella and Oana Tudose designed Brick Biotope, a set of bricks that doubles as a habitat for birds. Shown at FABRIKAAT, a Dutch exhibition showcased in the Ventura Lambrate District for Milan Design Week, the project also does triple duty as a vertical garden.
The bricks, following the natural pattern of house sparrows, are sand-casted with cracks in them so that the birds can build nests, feed and live in those cracks. These bricks are merged into the standard brick wall, and can be a part of the building. With immense research into the material and the production process, Brick Biotope uses natural materials such as sand and plaster. The sand, acting as a moulding agent, is poured together with plaster and removed by hand after solidification, giving it the desired cracks.
Brick Biotope incorporates the four necessary factors for a living environment to become a wild animal’s habitat: space, food, shelter and water accessibility. Micaela Nardella and Oana Tudose are students of the Master of Interior Architecture and Retail Design program at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.