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The Watchmen in the Trees

Part 2 Project 2023
Estera Badelita
University of Westminster | UK
Situated in the abandoned village of Gherdeal, Transylvania, "The Watchmen in the Trees" seeks to address the catastrophic destruction of the forests by illegal logging; and to shed light on these disregarded settlements. What has now become an abandoned rural landscape with only seven residents is proposed to become a key watching station working in symbiosis with nature, combatting the influence of organised crime and revitalising the village.

The project proposes a protective belt designed not only to engage with the local community but also the natural ecosystem and the species that occupy the forest – including brown bears, insects and birdlife.

Utilising traditional building techniques, local and left-over materials, the project aims to revitalise the primary industries of the villagers, namely agriculture and farming, and to develop a novel self-build typology. The concept of "cultivating architecture" is employed, wherein materials are naturally grown, originating as a seed and developing into building materials that naturally crumble over time, becoming nourishing fertilisers for the earth.

The garden envelops the village, and within its embrace, this architectural framework grows in tandem with the trees, its exterior skin gradually ageing and disintegrating, creating an ever-changing structure that blends harmoniously with its environment.

Estera Badelita

Nasser Golzari
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