Roots Pavilion

This design for a pavilion, a folly, is a sculpture celebrating trees, their roots and earth, as well as woodland ecosystems and ecology. 

It is made of earth in a corset of steel and building felt.

A prototype at half size has been built and is growing. We are looking for a patron to built the full size one. 

Roots Pavilion

2015 - ongoing  |  media: growing building  |  location: Vendée, France  |  scale: 10m x 10m


Watercolour concept section


Roots Pavilion is an experimental project that aims to create an architecture made virtually entirely of organic material, of living plants and earth. A woodland ecosystem is shaped into a building. It investigates the structural and aesthetic qualities of both living trees and earth.

Earth is shaped into an arch in a corset of metal rods and building felt. On the top of this tripod, three trees are planted. As their roots grow down the legs and gradually become ligneous, they will form the structure of the pavilion and retain the earth thus replacing the corset overtime. 

The architecture is simultaneously build and grown, it is a landscape building. There is an ambiguous combination of animal and vegetal qualities in the design, both in its shape, its spongy texture, and its process of growth. It feels both real and dreamlike. 

The design has been tested as growing models. The first at 1 to 20 scale in a terrarium and the second at half size is planted in a woodland and followed to learn how the trees will inhabit the design. 

The half size growing model test at the farm

The half size growing model test at the farm

Eric Guibert  building the model

Eric Guibert building the model


Project team


Horticulturalist: Mark Cox


Structural engineer: Ben Godber


Photographers: Eric Guibert & Robin Pembrooke


Drawings: Eric Guibert



The 1/20 model

The 1/20 model

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