The much anticipated Termite Pavilion arrived at the International Arts Pestival in London earlier this week. The Pestival is “a festival celebrating insects in art, and the art of being an insect…it is a rare creature: an international, inter-disciplinary, community-led festival.” Inspired by the Namibian termite mounds, the six square meter walk-in solid timber structure ”allows Pestival goers a unique insight into these extraordinary organic forms.”
Based on the work of Dr. Rupert Soar and the TERMES project, the pavilion is a 3D central section of a termite mound that is scaled up to accommodate humans. The structure will arrive in kit form, to be put together on site. It is made of cross laminated timber, sourced from Austrian spruce, for reasons of sustainability, durability and cost.
Project TERMES (Termite Emulation of Regulatory Mound Environments by Simulation) believes that we can learn a lot from how these insects construct their homes. It may sound unbelievable but the team proposes that the insects’ ways of constructing their mounds will “have some serious implications on construction in the near future.” The mounds are renowned for their ability to regulate and control the internal environments, and the insects utilize only renewable energy sources to supply enough energy for their race to thrive.
Could we really be taking tips from termites in the future? “No-one has ever seen this structure and we are revealing it to the world for the first time. What we learn from these mounds will enable us to change the very fabric of construction as we know it, so we build our own buildings on any terrain, against any backdrop,” explained TERMES. “With new computer technologies and processes, we have, for the first time, the opportunity to reveal, simulate and then embed this knowledge into our own homes, which are the greatest consumers of energy and generators of waste, ” the team added.
As seen on bustler.