Floating Forest in Rotterdam Features Twenty Live Trees

On March 16, 2016,  twenty floating trees were installed in the Rotterdam´s historic harbor basin, Rijnhaven. The idea for this floating tree installation was inspired by sculptor Jorge Bakker. In the 1970´s, Bakker created an art piece which featured trees floating in a small aquarium. This ¨bobbing forest¨, also known as Dobberend, will stay in Rotterdam until 2018. Rijnhaven may also host other floating architecture projects down the line.

All twenty of the trees will come from the city´s tree bank, and will be placed inside of twenty  buoys which have been adapted to fit the trees´needs. The trees will not be exposed to the harbor´s waters. The buoys are filled with a combination of earth, and ultralight lava rocks which help them stay afloat despite their weight. Both the earth and lava rocks help regulate moisture and temperature. A 500-litre tank which fits in the bottom of the buoy is filled with fresh water to sustain the trees. Each water tank must be refilled at least four times a year.

Floating Forest in Rotterdam


The artists and organization behind the project hope that the Bobbing Forest will raise questions about the relationship between the city dweller and nature, such as: “What does a city dweller have with nature and how humans and nature relate to the world around them?”

This unique floating forest is the first of its kind. The buoys themselves are being recycled, as they were previously used for other things. Creators of this project hope this green space will offer a place of reflection and tranquility, while also aiding in reducing CO2 emissions from the city.

More information about this project can be found on the Dobberend Bos website.

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