Stunning designs from the Wildlife Pavilions architecture competition
Bird nesting towers, floating habitats and tree canopy decks are among the striking, ambitious visions to come out of the international Wildlife Pavilions architecture competition.
The competition aimed to shift design away from human-centric visions, to instead focus on building for flora and fauna, in this case as part of three new pavilions within the Torbiere del Sebino nature reserve, an hour’s drive east of Milan.
Currently, the reserve has minimal structures and they’re only used by humans for birdwatching. The team behind Wildlife Pavilions, TerraViva, invited any creatives to develop plans for three spaces that would incorporate bird nesting, shelter for reptiles, insect hotels, sunbathing platforms and encourage the proliferation of the park’s flora.
The winning concept (above), A Friendly Guest, by a team from the Netherlands, presented pavilions made of recycled materials that would, from the inside, provide viewing space for visitors without encroaching on the natural behaviors of the park's animal residents.
"Each is designed to fit their habitat: in between the tree tops, the reed banks or on the water line," the architects said of their otherworldly structures. "Gradually, the natural processes in the reserve will blend the boundaries between the objects and their biotope. Eventually, the object and its surrounding will be indistinguishable, raising the question: who built it, humans or nature?"
Guillermo Ballestin, Rubén Lahuerta, Marta Lorente and Carmen Cuevas from Spain received an honorable mention for their evocative set of pavilions titled Arrive, Cross, Stay.
"Designed for the different groups of animals that inhabit [the reserve]," the architects noted. "Each one with a different character, made with ecological materials: wood and rope.”
Dramatic wood structures built for bird nesting and socializing were features of the finalist (In) Habitate, by Malaysian designers Chun Chen Koid, Jet Chee Kin Tan, Jensine Xiao Tong Ngow and Shannon Xen Jie Yeong.
Italian trio Samuele Piacentini, Francesco Trovatelli and Filippo Prodi created part sculpture part habitat with their stunning Cosmos pavilion, as part of their Primitive Nature concept.
An Azerbaijan design team created dramatic pavilions inspired by the life within the reserve.
“As closest it could be to the metamorphosis within the life cycle of a dragon fly, with its complex process and adaptiveness during each phase," said the designers. "The idea of a man-made structure guiding the visitor like a guest through the wildlife – the three pavilions with the different approach to shape-forming, yet the unique philosophy of blending with nature – is a chance to coexist and interact with all kind of species inside the environment.”
The nature reserve’s team now has the option to proceed with the winning design team. In the meantime, view our gallery for more inspired blended-with-nature creations from all over the globe.
Source: TerraViva Competitions
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