Ferdinand Ludwig: "Whoever plants a tree is a visionary"

Ferdinand Ludwig designs buildings of the future in which willows and plane trees merge with steel and concrete. In an interview with the swiss daily “Tages-Anzeiger”, the Munich professor and Trendday speaker talks about green houses and cities that defy global warming.
20 March, 2023 by
Ferdinand Ludwig: "Whoever plants a tree is a visionary"
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

"Tages-Anzeiger": Mr Ludwig, do you live in a house made of trees?

Ferdinand Ludwig: No, I live quite classically, in a city flat in Munich. Of course, I dream of living in a living house. But at the moment it's not a reality.

As an architect, you fuse trees and plants with concrete and steel – you call it "construction botany". What is the point of this?

I let trees grow together with technology and building structures because trees can provide unique ecological services. I'm talking about functions like cooling, shading or air purification. And trees are the habitat of a multitude of living creatures. If we make trees into natural building components, then the corresponding structures will have not only the aesthetics of trees, but also the properties of trees. My vision is that cities actually become forests. To have houses that function as trees and many of these houses together form an urban forest.

Why is that important?

Green architecture such as the "construction botany" may not be able to stop climate change. But what this building method does do: We can adapt to the changing climate – to heat and drought, which is becoming an ever greater problem, especially in inner cities. We need more shade and cooling. We need more habitat for birds or insects in metropolitan areas. A tree is a microclimatic high-performance machine. And the more trees we bring into the city, the healthier the climate will be for humans. Trees prevent overheating. They protect life and limb.

You can read the whole interview at tagesanzeiger.ch (in German).

Share this post