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CULTIVATED WASTE MATERIALS

HY-FI

In 2014, the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave the award of its Young Architects Program to David Benjamin and his architectural firm The Living. Their Hy-Fi project is a collaboration with Ecovative and proposes a cluster of towers built out of bricks grown from mycelium at the PS1, MoMA’s satellite venue in Long Island City. The architects claim this project to be the first sizable structure with a near-zero carbon footprint in its construction process and beyond.

towers and the ground. The moulds are meant to be shipped back to the producer for use in further research after the dismantling of the temporary building. The design of the towers is calibrated to create a cool microclimate in the city in the summer by drawing in cool air at the bottom and pushing out hot air at the top through a series of gaps in the walls. Hy-Fi offers a familiar-yet-completely-new structure in the context of the glass towers of the New York City skyline. After deconstruction, the bricks are planned to be processed by the local company Build It Green Compost and distributed to local community gardens as compost and fertilizer. In this way, the building is completely cultivated and compostable throughout its life cycle.

The mycelium bricks, using corn stalk as their nourishment, grow in special daylighting mirror film formworks in the block’s shape. In the construction process, the organic bricks are positioned at the bottom of the structure, while the reflective empty formworks themselves are placed at the top and bounce light down onto the

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1  Specially designed mushroom bricks from Ecovative for the Hy-Fi building.

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2  The bricks are grown using agricultural waste as nourishment. They can be reintroduced into the regular metabolic life cycle through composting.

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1 organic waste 2 soil 3 plants 4 atmosphere 5 growth of bricks 6 mushroom brick 7 building construction 8 building deconstruction 9 brick composting

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Building from waste  

This book provides a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource for architectural, in...

Building from waste  

This book provides a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource for architectural, in...

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