Compostable mushroom tower opens its doors

With New York’s MoMA PS1 Warm Up music series already under way, the largely compostable Hi-Fy building is now open to the public. The structure is the centrepiece for this year's outdoor courtyard event, providing shade, seating and water for visitors.

Designed by David Benjamin at architectural firm The Living, the circular tower was created using a new method of bio-design – comprising a bottom level of organic bricks and a top level of reflective bricks.

The organic bricks effectively grow themselves rather than being manufactured. Developed by project collaborator Ecovative, they are made of fully biodegradable low or no value materials such as corn stalks, an agricultural by product. Mycelium, a mushroom root substance, is added in and the materials are put in moulds where the fungus self-populates over a number of days. The reflective bricks, which are coated in 3M's daylighting mirror film to bounce light down, also act as the growing moulds for the organic bricks.

The 'mushroom' tower generates virtually no energy or carbon emissions. Organic bricks are 100% compostable, so there is almost no waste once the building reaches the end of its lifecycle.

Hi-Fi, which won this year's Young Architects Programme (YAP), will remain on show until September 6, when the long Island City summer-long event finishes

This article has been adapted from an article published by Technology4Change.