International Award for Public Art 2019 for Biodiversity Tower by Angelo Vermeulen
On 21 October, Biodiversity Tower received the International Award for Public Art 2019 (Eurasia region). The award acknowledges specific public art projects of the highest achievement with a focus on art-led urbanism, place-making, community building and social practice.
Biodiversity Tower is a public artwork that was co-created over a period of 6 years, in collaboration with the Compostmeesters Willebroek and architect Kris Mys. The structure acts as an autonomous, analog ‘biodiversity machine’ within a socially and culturally diverse neighborhood in the southern part of the town of Willebroek. The tower takes the concept of an insect hotel as its departure point and consists of an open mesh structure allowing for a flexible organization of internal layers with characteristic insect hotel materials, such as bamboo canes and logs. To further increase biodiversity, different plants species and a wind-powered drip irrigation system are added. Active compost inside trolleys at the bottom of the tower provides heat throughout the entire structure, and generates a diversity of microenvironments within the evolving ecosystem.