xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'

the filigree towers help win gold at Chelsea flower show

 

xylotek has designed and fabricated the ‘filigree towers’ as part of the gold medal-winning ‘guangzhou garden’ at the 2021 RHS chelsea flower show. the bristol-based specialists worked in collaboration with landscape architects grant associates, who had the initial idea to introduce towers into the garden as a way to highlight the need to reconnect city dwellers with nature.

 

the five bamboo towers range between 1.8 and 8.4 meters tall and are shaped to represent guangzhou, a port city in china known for its striking architecture. the latticework structures are made from glue-laminated mōsō bamboo (phyllostachys edulis), a fast-growing, sustainably sourced bamboo that xylotek says is easier to recycle than typical construction materials. emerging from the garden’s dense greenery, the towers are intended for use by wildlife and humans alike.

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'
images by alister thorpe

 

 

Spiraling, Hand-Curved bamboo latticework

 

the five towers comprise curved vertical elements that are braced by spiraling, glue-laminated strips of bamboo. every strip is bent by hand and each tower displays a different latticework pattern: from seemingly random patterns using shorter ribbon-like strips to more regular motifs. some of the larger structures include gothic arched openings, a bench, an observation platform, and even a swing.

 

to create these lightweight lattice structures, xylotek carried out rigorous structural testing before assembling them in their bristol workshop. the team selected the mōsō nfinity glue-laminated strips from sustainable plantations in china for their strength and durability in external conditions. they also utilized gridshell principles to fabricate stiff, curved structures. the exact curvature and rates of twist were analyzed and tested to achieve the optimum geometries.

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'
shorter strips create a random structural aesthetic

 

 

‘POETIC NEW FORMS’ from bamboo

 

grant associates director, peter chmiel, comments, ‘taking part in our first RHS chelsea flower show is an exciting creative challenge for us as we look to capture the essence of vast and vibrant guangzhou, with a population of 15 million people, and distill it down into a garden plot just 20m x 10m!’
 
‘we were thrilled to work over the past two years with grant associates on the design and realization of the ‘guangzhou garden,’  says martin self of xylotek, advanced timber structure specialists. ‘we particularly enjoyed exploring bamboo’s technical potential and harnessing its capacity to create poetic new forms.’

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'
larger towers include a bench and observation platform

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the bamboo structures punctuate the garden’s dense greenery

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'
the towers represent the cityscape of guangzhou in china

xylotek's bamboo towers at chelsea flower show are for 'wildlife and humans alike'
guangzhou garden has been awarded the gold medal at the 2021 RHS chelsea flower show

xylotek-bamboo-towers-guangzhou-garden-chelsea-flower-show-designboom-09X

the structures were tested to achieve the optimum curved shape

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