Bio-Tower Made of Bricks Grown from Corn

July 2, 2014

Hy Fi tower by The Living

From DeZeen: New York studio The Living has completed this year’s MoMA PS1 gallery pavilion – a cluster of circular bio-towers built from bricks that have been grown from corn stalks and mushrooms. Hy-Fi was the winning project in the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) contest, which each year invites emerging architects to propose a temporary structure that will host MoMA Ps1‘s summer events.

Designed by The Living principal David Benjamin, the structure is built from entirely from biodegradable materials. Each of the bricks used to construct it were grown rather than manufactured, using a combination of agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium – a kind of natural digestive glue.

Hy Fi tower by The Living

Specially designed molds were used to cultivate the bio-bricks. They were coated in a light-refracting film developed by materials firm 3M and some were then built into the structure around the top, helping to bounce light down inside.

Gaps in the brickwork help to naturally ventilate the interior using the stack effect, drawing cool air in at the bottom and pushing hot air out at the top. According to MoMA PS1, the tower is designed to create a “pleasant microclimate” throughout the summer.

Hy Fi tower by The Living

“Hy-Fi offers shade, colour, light, views, and a futuristic experience that is refreshing, thought-provoking, and full of wonder and optimism,” said the gallery in a statement. The tower will remain in place until September 7.

Source: DeZeen

Photos: Kris Graves




Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.