Dominik Einfalt

Reward of Patience


An important element with the Mycelium Pigeon Towers is patience. We waited about two weeks before we took off the tarp and we could see steam coming off. There was this white tower in front of us. And then I knew: we did it! This is a proper tower.

It is growing. It is still alive.


Kaleidoscopic top view of the Pigeon Tower - Nadine Schütz

We took a thermometer and put it in the Tower. The outer layer was about 7 to 8 degrees Celsius, just like the temperature was outside. But when we pushed the thermometer in just a little further, it was above 20 degrees Celsius. We could confirm that the mycelium was still alive. 

As I said, the Tower was covered in a white layer, a layer of mycelium and had turned into this big living organism in front of us. We looked at the tower from all angles and thought: what does it look like from the top? We climbed up a ladder and what we saw was stunning... There were hundreds of mushrooms growing, which was strange because it was too cold for these yellow oyster mushrooms. Normally they need at least 18° degrees to form fruit bodies, but due to the tarp, the shape of the tower and the mycelium, it was able to keep the heat inside.

It looked like a coral reef. Mushrooms over mushrooms over mushrooms, it was beautiful to see. Mushrooms have a language of beauty. Even the people that were not part of the project, but did come to see the Tower reveal, all had the same reaction as we did: amazed. 

Dealing with the weather and willows

We started to work with willows branches and created a first try for a roof to see if we could create some rain protection for the pigeons and the mycelium. Mycelium does like high humidity, but not wet.

They are still prototypes, as we don't know how to continue yet. We have been working with Joseph on the roof, who is quite skilled in building structures and hands-on stuff. With him we tried to make a roof from used plywood as well. But even though it is strong and it does what it needs to do, it does not feel its fitting the project. The whole tower is alive and grows - and the plywood does not match with that. We will still need to figure out what does. 

Another question that is left: are the pigeons actually interested in living here? Maybe we can find the answer here...