In an effort to find solutions to the growing climate challenges Company New Heroes started the experiment of building a biobased pavilion. Company New Heroes designer Pascal Leboucq wants to show the possibilities and beauty of biobased architecture. The Growing Pavilion is made from biobased materials such as wood, hemp, mycelium, cattail and cotton.
Krown.Bio manufactured the mycelium wall panels. Waste from the agricultural and horticultural sector in the Netherlands, such as stumps and branches, was utilized to grow the mycelium. Mycelium has the unique ability that it can easily be molded into any desired shape.
For the construction of the Growing Pavilion walls, first a mold was made in the required wall panel size. The molds are covered to minimize oxygen supply and placed in a dark closed room for four to five days. Mushroom spores will then start the slow breakdown of the waste products and turn them into mycelium. The molds are subsequently baked at 80 degrees for two days to complete the production process.
Many years of research by Company New Heroes preceded the Growing Pavilion. All materials found and used during the design and building process are compiled into the Materials Atlas. The Atlas showcases many conscious pioneers who innovate with biobased building materials and is meant to inspire designers towards biobased building and towards a circular economy.
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Social challenges such as climate change, subsidence, CO2 emissions and the scarcity of fossil fuels require new, sustainable solutions. The call for a more biobased and circular economy is becoming increasingly necessary. That is why Company New Heroes started the experiment of building an iconic biobased pavilion, together with Dutch design Foundation and other pioneers in the field: The Growing Pavilion.
Through this project, designer Pascal Leboucq of Company New Heroes, shows the possibilities and above all the outstanding beauty of biobased construction and design. The uniqueness of the pavilion consists in the large number of biobased materials used- such as wood, hemp, mycelium, cattail and cotton, put together in order to form a building like never seen before.
The Growing Pavilion could be visited for ten days in the beating heart of Dutch Design Week 2019. More than 75,000 people – industry professionals, governmental figures and organizations but also many “consumers” and regular daily visitors – visited the pavilion.
We are currently discussing with various enthusiastic companies and organizations, the option to rebuild The Growing Pavilion in other locations so we continue to inspire even more people towards biobased building and towards a circular economy.
2 years of research
As with every project of Company New Heroes, The Growing Pavilion was built on many years of research. Which biobased materials are suitable for this iconic structure? What is the aesthetic value of biobased materials? Also: why is it necessary to make the transition to a biobased economy? We have documented and showcased our research process in different ways, aiming for full transparency. Amongst other things, a “Reasons why” animation film, the making of movie and an atlas of all materials used for The Growing Pavilion are available online (www.thegrowingpavilion.com).
In our “Materials Atlas”, we share the collection of all materials found and used through our biobased design and building research. Through this, we want to show how far we can currently go, with the ambition to reach fully biobased creations. We have met many smart and conscious pioneers in the industry, who challenge the world of design and construction to take a new step; they can also be found in this atlas.
In addition to inspiring people and shedding light on the necessity of making this switch, we also make ourselves vulnerable through this atlas. We are literally and figuratively opening our book to the public, showcasing our long research in the world of biobased building. Our dream pavilion consists of even more innovative biobased options and materials. For now, good materials alone are not enough to make large-scale applications possible. Think about scaling up production; appropriate regulations; innovative designers and conscious consumers. With The Growing Pavilion and through this atlas, we put this conversation on the world’s agenda and facilitate it, as this is an essential step in order to achieve the desired change in thinking and acting.
The beauty of biobased materials
The Growing Pavilion is an ode to the beauty and power of biobased materials. Most biobased materials are still too often perceived as just an equally good-looking and environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional materials. We find this as a weakness: why aren’t biobased materials also seen as better, smarter, more original, healthier and more beautiful alternatives to what we already know? We believe that new designs and applications of those materials are required, as well as their own, recognizable and acknowledged identity.
Designer Pascal Leboucq: “With every biobased material that we used for the pavilion, we show the natural raw material as much as possible. This way, the pavilion ended up having a unique, organic texture and colour. A good example is the way in which we used mycelium for the walls of the pavilion. The stains and the natural growing texture of the mycelium is beautiful- forming a kind of organic skin instead of an evenly white wall. ”
The Growing Pavilion promotes a new aesthetic that gives biobased materials a unique and beautiful identity. This is also reinforced through the exhibition of biobased designs and creations that could be found inside the pavilion during DDW. We exhibited unique pieces by Aniela Hoitink, Christien Meindertsma, Diana Scherer, Eric Klarenbeek, Martijn Straatman and HuisVeendam.
The need for a Biobased Economy becomes increasingly stronger. The use of biological or grown, instead of fossil materials, is an important solution for reducing plastic (waste), preventing subsidence, capturing CO2 and reusing waste from agriculture. “At this moment 95% of the worlds energy comes from fossil fuels which caused the output of CO2 to increase immensely over the last 100 years and to be exhausted soon. Per day the world population uses as much petroleum as the world can ‘produce’ in 1000 years. We have to find an alternative or society will see a fast and huge fall back,” so explains CoEBBE (2019). The world of the built environment can also not be left behind. Governments and consumers set stricter requirements for building materials and governments increasingly make sure that the polluter pays. This makes many conventional building materials more expensive, which is both a necessity and an opportunity for biobased building materials.