Species Wall approaches bird inhabitation as an experiment in non-human comfort, asking whether birds would benefit from homes that are plumbed, use insulated material and appropriately oriented. The wall system we propose, an assembly of plywood scaffolding and molded concrete panels, seeks to explore certain of these functional needs.
Commissioned for the exhibition “Potential Fields” at the Clermont Historical Estate in September 2015, Species Wall takes the form of three outdoor walls oriented to capture favorable conditions for local birds including the Northern Flicker, Black-capped Chickadee, Tree Swallow, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Wren.
Species Wall Pavilion is a series of walls built from brightly stained plywood with a prominent grain on one face and non-autoclaved aerated concrete panels on the opposite face. The concrete panels are designed to house specific types of local birds by providing a specific nest entrance size, cavity size, sun exposure, level of insulation, and protection from predators.
The concrete mixture was developed using a series of tests in order to provide the best compressive and tensile strength while also providing a high level of insulation for the nests housed inside the panels. The panels are made from a typical concrete mixture to which we have added glass fiber for tensile strength and aluminum to aerate the mixture. This results in a high strength, high insulation, low density panel.