The floating forest in Rotterdam

On March 16, 2016 20 floating trees were installed in the Rotterdams historic harbor basin, Rijnhaven. The idea for this floating tree installation was inspired by sculptor Jorge Bakker, and a sculpture he made in the 1970´s which featured trees floating in a small aquarium. The ¨bobbing forest¨, also known as Dobberend, will stay in Rotterdam until 2018. Rijnhaven may also host other floating architecture projects down the line.

The 20 trees will come from the city´s tree bank, and will be placed inside of 20 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 the weight. The earth and lava rocks also 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, and must be refilled at least four times a year.


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?”

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

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