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.