Shell Mycelium: using mycelium to build and destroy constructions

No building lasts forever. While there are solutions in the make, such as giving the materials a passport during construction for reuse later, a lot of waste is left behind during deconstruction. In an attempt to combat this problem, a collaboration between architects Asif Rahman (Beetles 3.3), Giombattista Areddia, and Mohamad Yassin (Yassin Areddia Design) wrote the Degradation Movement Manifesto, which states that degradability, sustainability and liability are parts of the responsibility of architecture. Translating their words into deeds, they designed Shell Mycelium, a wooden pavilion covered in mycelium, which, as it grows, slowly breaks down the wooden structure.

The architects’ criticism on current architecture leaves little to the imagination. In the manifesto, they state: “The burning desire of architecture [to create permanent structures], like a vampire’s thirst for blood, leave the body dead, with permanent scars.” Their own goal is clear: “We criticize these unconscious political choices, with living buildings, that arise from nature and return to nature, as though they never existed.”

Shell Mycelium, designed for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, is their response to current architecture. The construction consists of a wooden frame and plywood, which form the growing ground for fungus spores. The mycelium, which is put on top of the pavilion mixed with coir pith, eats the wood and merges with it, slowly transforming it. The top layer dies because of the sunlight, forming a protective shell for the bottom layers. In the end, nothing remains of the pavilion after it biodegrades, except “the experiences felt under it”.

For the full manifesto, click here, or watch the video below.

Photos: Degradation Movement