Asif Rahman of Indian studio Beetles 3.3, and Giombattista Arredia and Mohamad Yassin of Italian architecture studio Yassin Arredia Design teamed up to create the Shell Mycelium installation in Fort Kochi, in the state of Kerala.
Their aim was to promote mycelium as an alternative construction material that is particularly suitable for building temporary structures.
They believe it could be easily utilised to create temporary rather than permanent structures during major events, like international sports tournaments and world expos.
Rahman, Arredia and Yassin were introduced to the material by mycologist Philip Ross, who has been looking at ways of combining mycelium with leather.
The unique characteristic of the material is that can merge with the framework to which it is added. In the case of the Shell Mycelium pavilion, the material became combined with a triangulated timber framework.
To make this happen, the architects created a series of tray-like cavities in the structure. These were filled with fungus then covered over with coir pith, which consists of coconut husk fibres. In time, the top layer dried up and died, creating a protective shell over the mycelium.
The project formed part of the programme for the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, which took place from December 2016 until March 2017.
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