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MYCELIUM PAVILION

BY ARCHITECT STIJN DRIES AND BIOSCIENTIST IVANA MIK

For the past six months the bioscientist Ivana Mik and architect Stijn Dries were working together to create a mycilium installation for the Larnaka BioDesign Festival. 

Resulting in the project Building Blocks of Nature, the work became a mycelium installationinspired by the stone age village of Choirokoitia, which was occupied between nine- and eight thousand years ago by farmers that initially arrived on Cyprus from the near East mainland. 

The material has two components, hemp and mycelium. Industrial hemp sequesters more carbon dioxide per acre than any other crop and reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers in many crop rotation systems. Mycelium is the root of mushrooms, usually found in the ground or rotting wood, mushrooms are the fruit of the mycelium. In this structure the mycelium grew throughout the hemp by slowly digesting it. In doing  it binds everything together and creating a firm mass. 


The uses, qualities, and applications of both hemp and fungi are seemingly infinite and we are just beginning to discover them. The fact that this material can be made into any three-dimensional structure makes it an attractive material for designers and architects. The pavilion serves as a symbol of innovation and  circularity, as well as an independent artwork and a reference point for the festival. It is worth noting that, the world's first mycelium pavilion was built in 2014 as a commission from the Museum of Modern Art New York (MOMA). Preceding structures were always supported by another material like wood or metal. 
 

Building blocks of Nature is the first truly selfsupporting mycelium structure ever made. And, it is the first structure on an architectural scale in the ongoing research project Featuring Fungi.


The building of the mycelium pavilion was made possible by Larnaca 2030, Kyriakides Mushrooms, EFL Fund and Provincie Noord-Holland. 

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