BAM translates ornithological research into an unprecedented green roof design
BAM (Ballistic Architecture Machine) proposes the world’s first dedicated rooftop Avian Habitat, Biornis Aesthetope, in Lower Manhattan, New York. Biornis Aesthetope is a rest area for birds travelling along the Atlantic Coast Flyway. Structural latticework sculpted as a “meadow and tree” transforms a 70,000 sq ft rooftop covered with vents and ductwork into a park accessible only to birds and insects.
Biornis Aesthetope attaches to the roof of an existing 12-storey mixed-use building, utilizing existing column points to create a fully-spanning roof structure. An undulating surface of structural mesh is filled with a matrix of material “plugs” including 85% organic soil, water pools, gravel, perforated metal, and glass. Infill materials are positioned according to structural loading conditions and the need to create a “refueling station” attractive to birds.
By consulting Ornithologists at Harvard and Cornell Universities, BAM was able to research nutritional and spatial requirements for an avian meadow. Ornithologists selected target species from birds migrating along the Atlantic Coast Flyway. Offering shelter and structural complexity, the tree structure creates ideal nesting conditions for 12 species including diurnal raptors, songbirds, and owls. While the meadow presents a large area of green and blue visible from the sky, Biornis Aesthetope aims to provide key “rest stop” attributes which migrating birds seek.
Through a system of webcams located in the tree and meadow, monitors in an adjacent skylobby for the client allow humans to monitor bird activity in Biornis Aesthetope.