Edible Formwork


Personal Info

Name: Pui Yu Yau

Nationality: Chinese (Hong Kong)

Institution / Company: The University of Hong Kong


-FINALIST of Non Architecture Award 2022 Competition | Category: Urban & Landscape


Architecture has always been built to satisfy human needs. Every time we build, we displace a piece of land and thus threatens many ecosystems and puts more animals in danger of extinction. Instead of only considering to build or not, could we rethink the way we reclaim land and the way we construct? Could architecture nurture the growth of organisms instead of destroying their habitat? 

The Edible Formwork is a project that aims to nurture an ecosystem through a piece of architecture that would also support human living. A set of underwater foundations were designed as structure dedicated to serve as a dwelling and nurturing zone for underwater organisms, meanwhile supporting building functions for humans living above. 

A series of casting experimentation was carried out to explore ways to create rough surfaces to nurture growth of underwater plantations. The porous foundation imitates the structure and qualities of a large coral reef which would create a new home for the marine animals. 

Human waste will be collected in several filtering pipes of the foundation and will be used as nutrients for the plants and the energy would be cycled through the new ecosystem. To further reduce construction waste, the formwork of this foundation would be built with compressed food scraps and would be eaten up by organisms after the casting process. 

Overall, the project challenges and reflects the way we design today, whether human living and ecosystems could co-exist within a design, instead of displacing a habitat only to satisfy human-beings. 


Project Type:

Foundation, Formwork, Underwater structure 

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