Office for Living Architecture


The Federal Horticultural Show(BuGa) is intended to demonstrate how Mannheim can transform the legacy of military conversion sites into a more sustainable and greener future. With this goal in mind, the concepts for the Baumhalle (tree hall) and the Baubotanik grove were created.

Tree Hall
The so-called U-hall is a relic of military uses. In one part of the hall, the roof covering and most of the side walls will be removed, and the floor will be broken up to create root space for trees. The remaining steel structure is used to arrange a variety of planters in space. With the help of plant addition, a tree canopy will be created between and above the steel trusses of the roof, which can already be experienced during the BUGA via walkways and stairs. When the trees have intergrown and became sufficiently stable, the planters and the remaining technical supports can be removed and the trees themselves can form the supporting structure for the walkways in the treetop.

Baubotanik grove
At the intersection of two main paths, a central place is created on the conversion area Spinelli: In established cultural landscapes, such landmarks are often individual large trees or groups of trees. The Baubotanik grove at this point will look like a group of trees from a distance. Only some platforms and footbridges reaching out of the treetop reveal that this is a walkable tree structure.
With the help of plant addition, the tree grove will be realized immediately in the desired size and can already be experienced as a green space at the opening of the BUGA. However, it will take several years until the plants have fully merged and became load-bearing. Until then, the walkable elements and the planters will be supported by non-treated logs.
A gently sloping ramp leads first to a small topographic elevation and from there between the trunks into the tree canopy. Directly between the leaves, twigs and branches, the growth of the living construction as well as the decay of the logs can be experienced. When, in the course of time, these logs hand over their function as supporting elements to the Baubotanik, they remain in the structure as deadwood habitats.

Baubotanik Project BuGa 23

Baubotanik case study

Mannheim, GER


OLA – Office for Living Architecture