The Yvy is coming ©2014
Status: Open competition
Client: Fabrikaat #2 Nijmegen
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg with B. Fernandez, S. Kounaki, L. Larrauri, V. Pitta


…primitive hut 3.0

Fabrikaat is an artist collective which has landed among others in the former Honig factory in the city of Nijmegen. The factory complex mainly consists of a mix of neutral materials, steel roof structures, corrugated finishes and concrete.

The collective identifies a lack of vegetation and has organized the competition Fabrikaat #2 for the design of a low budget garden at four possible locations within the complex.

Our reference is Marc-Antoine Laugier’s primitive hut which is constructed of pure plant material and –based on Vetruvius- supports a 18-century plea for constructive simplicity and clarity.

In this proposal for location 1 (on the roof of the Fabrikaat space) we designed a growing vegetation system that originates from an incubator and spreads throughout the whole complex. It brings life and improves interior climate. Locally people can ‘tap’ the ivy to spread along interior walls. Extra containers for Clématis can be added locally.

For construction, students of the Arnhem Academy of Architecture, local technical education, Radbout University and a student in landscaping will assist. Maintenance is simple; the plants grow in a hydronic system that needs to be fed once a month. Clipping of the plants also happens once a month. The ivy is carried through the complex with trays of mesh metal and TL tubes. 60-meter distances can be made by the ivy under good food and lighting conditions. The ivy passes walls and facades and spreads in various directions. To make thermal crossings, wooden panels and insulation can be used. The ivy (Hedera Helix L., a.k.a. English ivy) stays green during the year and grows at high speed (20 cm per week). This growth is experienced in a large part of the complex.

The incubator on the roof is made of two rows of containers with lightweight clay pebbles and a time clocked irrigation system. Through suspended steel nets that support the plants and envelopes the stairs, we avoid a heavy structure and we make a space, a pavilion. Steel IPE beams are mounted onto the steel trusses of the roof structure. From these beams the nets are suspended by thin cables. Inside the pavilion we create space for meetings, presentations, lectures, café, expositions and workshops. At the top of the stairs the net is folded to allow an entry with green terrace for Fabrikaat #1. A big light is suspended above the pavilion which creates beautifully filtered light inside. We plant Clématis as well for adding colour.