The Green Embassy made from willow and plastic

To promote gardening in cities, Steffen Impgaard designed the Green Embassy as an architectural framework and venue, situated in Aarhus (DK). The construction consists of several layers, made from different materials, such as willow and plastic.

Architecturally, the pavilion rethought use of nature’s willow, which in interaction with the urban context and other more high tech building materials such as ETFE, it is a underline the capabilities of nature’s building blocks.

The base of the construction is made of timber. On top of this is a layer of Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a fluorine based plastic that is self-cleaning and recyclable. The translucent plastic allows sunlight into the structure, lighting it naturally. On top of that is another frame made of wood and steel.

The outside is made of willow branches. Willow is a fast growing tree. The thin, moist willow sticks are good to weave because they can bend in any direction without breaking. As they dry, they hold the shape. The willow is fixed into place with copper wire.

The design filters the light and creates a lively, changing play of light and shadow, which, in interaction with the wood, creates a warm ambience.

The Green Embassy, which seems to be shaped like a seed, is designed as the natural centre for Taste Aarhus, a nature and food project where people of Aarhus create green spaces full of flavor. The Green Embassy acts as an open, dynamic and creative workshop space for citizens and stakeholders, as people while being headquarter to the team behind the Taste of Aarhus. It contains a kitchen and places to sit.

Photos: Kirstine Mengel via