Fungus to protect us shelter

By: | July 22 , 2022

A group of Indian and Italian architects have come together to build a pavilion using the fleshy part of mushroom or other fungus, otherwise known as mycelium and displayed at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016. They believe that this technology can be used for future constructions as well.

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Asif Rahman of Indian studio Beetles 3.3, and GiombattistaArredia and Mohamad Yassin of Italian architecture studio Yassin Arredia Design teamed together to create the Shell Mycelium installation in Fort Kochi, Kerala.

The aim is to help mycelium grow as an alternative construction material which can be easily sourced and is suited for building temporary structures. Owing to its biodegradable disposal, the material stands as an environmental friendly replacement to the contemporary materials being used for structural construction. They believe that this method could be used to make temporary shelters required during sports tournament or world expos of various kinds.

Making use of “heavy construction material” makes it difficult for demolition and the subsequent disposal of waste. The uniqueness of the material is also its ability to merge with the framework to which it is added. For the pavilion designed for the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 titled ‘Shell Mycelium pavilion’, they combined the material with a triangulated timber framework. The architects created a series of tray-like cavities in the structure which were filled with fungus then covered over with coir pith, which consists of coconut husk fibres. In time, the top layer dried up and died, creating a protective shell over the mycelium.

In recent past, New York studio The Living, used it to build a pavilion for the MoMA PS1 gallery, and Dutch designer Eric Klarenbeek, used it to create furniture.


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