Italy’s Natural Cathedral Is Made of Growing Trees

Located on the outskirts of Bergamo, at the foot of Monte Arena, the tree cathedral created by Italian artist Giuliano Mauri is one of the world’s most impressive example of organic architecture.

Giuliano Mauri created “natural architecture” by blending organic materials like trunks and branches with classic architectural elements, creating impressive large-scale edifices. In 2001, his love for nature inspired him to draw up the plans for a project that took his art to a whole new level and left the people of Bergamo stunned – a cathedral made only of trees. The artist envisioned a unique organic building desinged in such a way that the branches of the trees forming its pillars would extend and arch to become its roof and walls. Unfortunately, Mauri died unexpectedly in 2009, and never got to see his grand plan come to life, but as a homage to his life’s work, the project was initiated in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.

Photo by Sandro & Cristina

The frame of the tree cathedral of Bergamo consists of 42 columns made with fir trunks and branches of chestnuts and hazelnuts forming supporting structures around the young trees. Withe time, they will grow stronger and the wooden structures will slowly deteriorate offering a seamless transition from a man-made structure to a completely natural creation. Right now the 6,000 meters of supporting branches around the 1,800 fir trees are held together with nails and string, but as the beeches grow, they will wither away and eventually be dismantled.

Photo via Pieroweb

The growing tree cathedral covers an area of approximately 650 square meters and measures 90 feet by 80 feet. It will take a few more years for it to be finished, but even now, it is an amazing monument to Giuliano Mauri’s work.

Photo via Pieroweb

Photo via Pieroweb

Photo by Sandro & Cristina

Photo via Il Giardino Sfumato


   

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