Paradisiacal setting complemented by natural construction – this in a nutshell defines the incredibly spectacular and yet resplendently serene Cattedrale Vegetale (Tree Cathedral), originally designed by the late Italian artist Giuliano Mauri. Situated at the foot of Mount Arera, in the scenic Alpine region of Lombardy, Northern Italy; the church in focus is constructed from a intricate structural framework of naturalistic tree parts. This fascinating endeavor entailed the use of 1,800 fir poles, 600 chestnut branches, 6,000 m of hazel branches and 42 beech plants!
These tree parts were utilized for the composition of the columns that are arranged in five naves. The support elements are held up by flexible wood pegs and nails, with the design scope supposedly inspired by the ancient arts of weaving. Interestingly enough, given the organic nature of these imposing pillars, all of the columns will eventually decompose. However, the artist had thought of using European hornbeam trees that would sprout from the axis-base of these frameworks, to emerge as massive structural components of the sylvan Cattedrale Vegetale.
In essence, the bucolic ambit would transform into a nigh-mythical place of worship. But this around, the verdant interlocking trees’ foliage would impressively account for the majestic vaulted ceilings we are accustomed to seeing in Gothic Architecture for cathedrals.
Image credits: Virtual Sacred Space
Image credits: Michele Salmaso
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Image credits: Arte Sella
Image credits: Ettore Galata Rizzardini
Image credits: Pierangelo Zavatarelli
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