Italian artist Giuliano Mauri’s epic Cattedrale Vegetale (or Tree Cathedral) proves that buildings don’t have to be cold and dead. His tree architecture is instead of competing with or complementing nature, quite literally a part of it.
The five-aisle basilica gets its structure from 42 columns, formed by weaving more than 600 chestnut and hazel branches around 1,800 fir tree poles, the branches curving at the top to form the arches.
This cathedral will develop over time as the trees grow
The framework columns seen in these photos will eventually rot away and decay, to be replaced by the hornbeam trees planted in the center of each frame. As these grow, their canopies will mesh together to form the vaulted ceiling of a Gothic cathedral.
Mauri, who passed away in 2009, laid the groundwork for his first visionary cathedral in Valsugana, Italy in 2002. The framework of the cathedral at the foot of Mount Arera in the northern Italian region of Lombardy was completed in 2010.