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ailanthus domestica housing unit guidebook


ailanthus altissima aka “tree of heaven� Origin: China Year of arrival in Europe: 1740 a.c. Lifespan: 50 years Maximum height: 30m Maximum root depth: 2m Characteristics: The tree ailanthus altissima is spreading rapidly due to its light weight seeds. It is extremely durable as it survives under adverse conditions (lack of water, low sun exposure, soil with low nutrient content). It is also resistant to atmospheric, chemical and particulate pollution. Ailanthus Altissima Benefits: The roots of the tree have been identified to carry chemical compounds such as ailanthone, ailanthinone, chaparrine and ailanthinol B, bases that can potentially be used for the synthesis of natural herbicides. Another beneficial output,of ailanthus is its ability to store large amounts of water in its roots. Scenario: Ailanthus altissima has established populations throughout most of cultivable land in South Pelion. Due to the allelopathy phenomenon, the tree does not allow the growth of other plants resulting to its predominance in the local flora. The man has therefore been adapted to the intense action of the tree and has now capitulated all the cultivable area.

site location


First, locate a population ailanthus altissima.


Ideally your lot should be under shade and in direct access to the roots of at least one tree. Avoid settling in an area conducive to the growth of the tree.


Preferably choose slopes for the placement of the housing unit (see # 2) T.

If your structure is underground, it is necessary to place its installations in depth greater than 2m, to avoid any significant future damage,possibly caused by the substances secreted by the tree’s rootstocks.





unit’s elevation (southwest)

terrace floor plan cultivation limit

proposed structure

section ΑΑ inhabitation space

section ΒΒ storage space

Anabolism The unit draws water and infusion substances from the roots of the nearest tree,which will afterwards be used for your garden needs.You must not neglect to carry your cultivation seed from the old settlement. The fruits which are collected,are stored inside the unit. At this stage you have a self-sufficient unit.

x seed sto


proposed stucture

Catabolism In case the unit is multiplied (another similar device appears close to your unit), use the connection links to attach to the other device in order to exchange seeds and to obtain fruit.At this stage it is a closed network.

occured network

Metabolism The constant multiplication of the unit leeds to the creation of a network of extracting,processing,distri buting and aborting data. The occured organism extracts data(water and infusions) from the tree via the connection links between unit-tree. At the next stage,the data is being processed in the cultivation area of every unit. More specifically, the extracted water is used to water your cultivation garden while the infusion substances from the tree roots are the ideal natural herbicides. The result of this process is the creation of some new data(fruit)available to be either storaged inside the suggested unit, either be exchanged with another unit. The fruit distribution is carried via the connection links between unit-tree. In any case, depending on the needs and structure of your network, the connection link would possibly change,in many different ways(eg. bridges, internet cables, water pipes)


@ Paw Workshop 2013

Ailanthus Domestica  

METABOLISMS @Paw Workshop in collaboration with Olympia Katsarou.

Ailanthus Domestica  

METABOLISMS @Paw Workshop in collaboration with Olympia Katsarou.