Bamboo walkway

Bamboo walkway © BGUW_R. Hromniak

Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens © BGUW_R. Hromniak

The bamboo grove in Group 20 has expanded from a small stand to now cover an area of ca. 230 m². In order to provide visitors with access and also protect the young shoots from being trampled, a walkway was constructed through the grove.

The grove is made up of the greenwax golden bamboo (Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens). This species was already listed in the Botanical Garden's plant inventory of 1893. This makes it one of the oldest and largest outdoor bamboo groves in Austria. The entire "forest" probably consists of a single plant whose thickest stalks reach a height of over 8 m.

A contest was held in the landscape design class of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, to design the pathway through the grove. The winning project by Jessica Gaspar and Nikola Schubert gave rise to the idea to build two walkways. They provide access to the grove while protecting its root network, and at the same time incorporate the stylistic idiom of the bamboo stalks themselves.

The two separate walkways provide a view into the grove without cutting through its space, providing an appealing interplay of vertical light and shadow reinforced by the unique rustling sounds of the stalks and leaves.

The steel framework of the walkway mimics the sturdiness and flexibility of the bamboo. While steel openly radiates its strength, the exceptional robustness of bamboo is somewhat obscured by its leafage.
The walkway's grating floor reflects the transparency and regularity that characterize the grove. The diameter of the grating's "cells" enables the bamboo to grow through the gaps and envelop the walkway. Dissolving the boundaries between walkway and grove allows visitors to immerse themselves in the forest without trampling on the sensitive root system.