Stuttgart, Germany
City population: 581386
Duration: 2008 – 2009
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: 8 m2
Type of area: Central Business District / City Centre
Last updated: October 2021

Baubotanik Tower is a test and demonstration building in Wald-Ruhestetten, approx. 150km south of Stuttgart. It exemplifies new engineering possibilities with living plants and visualizes the architectural and ecological potential of Baubotanik. Baubotanik or Living Plant Constructions is a technology of building with living trees, advanced by Stuttgart architect Ferdinand Ludwig. Baubotanik shapes living tree branches, stems and roots of trees into buildings to use qualities of forest in a dense city. For this purpose, living and non-living structural details are joined in a way they can grow together into a botanical and technical compound structure (ref 1, 2, 5).

Baubotanical Tower (2010)
Photographer: Ferdinand Ludwig, Design: Ferdinand Ludwig and Cornelius Hackenbracht, retrieved 08/17/2018


Nature-based solution

  • Nature on buildings
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design


Creation of new green areas

Project objectives

1. To enrich the urban space with natural materials; 2. To give the building structure green natural qualities; 3. To realize the idea of using nature as architecture; 4. To create botanical structures with a weight-bearing capacity; 5. To harmonize regular structures of the urban grid with the botanical structures; 6. To construct naturally cool buildings with a zero-carbon emission (ref 1).

Implementation activities

The building has a footprint of about eight square meters and a hight of barely nine meters with three walkable levels. It is the first baubotanical project which was realized by using the plant addition method. The vegetable structure was made out of one hundred young 2-meter-high silver willows (Salix alba). Only the lowest plants were bedded into the ground, whereas all others rooted in special plant containers arranged on seven different levels. The whole construction is supported by a temporary steel tube scaffold which is embedded in the ground on a screw base – a structure which always can be removed again. The plant containers are constantly kept wet to ensure the necessary water for the plants. On that condition, all plants will completely intergrow with each other. Thereby it shall be examined how long it takes for the structure to get water and nutrients out of the ground independently. Due to its experimental character, the structure is not designed as a publicly walkable facility. The zinc-coated steel-grating levels are basically used for maintenance and care. The load capacity of the vegetable supporting structure is at present difficult to prognosticate and shall be proved by weight tests. (ref 1, 7)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)

Main beneficiaries

  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Researchers/University


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Researchers/university

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Landscape architects Ferdinand Ludwig and Daniel Schönle shaped the term and played a major role in working on a scientific basis of the Baubotanik approach and the forerunners in the construction of the baubotanic pavilions and buildings. Planning team: Ferdinand Ludwig; Cornelius Hackenbracht Engineering: BaStHo (ref 1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? No
... a local policy or strategy? No


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Private Foundation/Trust

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of land
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Other

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Improved soil quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased number of species present

Economic impacts

  • Reduce financial cost for urban management

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool



Baubotanical Tower (2010)
Photographer: Ferdinand Ludwig, Design: Ferdinand Ludwig and Cornelius Hackenbracht, retrieved 08/17/2018