The Mobile Orchard is a new installation by atmos - an inhabitable hymn to the urban tree.
It centres on a large, sculptural oasis that beckons to be used - as seating, shelter, stairway and sky-throne.
Its undulating roots offer a landscape for seating and lounging - including an armchair nook that nestles the head to lean back into the hollow.
-like space allows its occupant to sensually lean back, its hollow cradling their gaze upwards into the voids above.
The trunk leans back, inviting the intrepid to climb it. Branches magically splay into steps and seats. Its tip splits into a crown of branches - a voluptuous sky-throne that offers a perfect vantage point over the installation.
Sleek aluminium tendrils unfurl from the timber branches to support a canopy of translucent foliage. Their “London Leaves” are carved in the shape of the London Boroughs - lasercut shapes packing as tightly as the spaces of our city, with the host borough - the City of London, the seed and host of this project - further split into its constituent wards to form intricate blossom.
The undulating canopy shelters a range of theatre and music performance, and even an Urban Picnic. The bark is grooved with radiating seams of dynamic lighting - luminous veins that run the length of the tree, to terminate in glowing bulbs above.
Each week, the tree is replenished with a bounty of fresh apples, encouraging visitors to explore and hunt for healthy sustenance, reminding us that trees provide food as much as structure.
The entire landscape was parametrically designed and digitally fabricated using scripts and algorithms that seek to rediscover the rules of growth so brilliantly exemplified by nature.
Over time, it is hoped other inhabitable trees will also spring from the ground to accompany the mother tree, a family of structures welcoming and embracing all who visit them.
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