In Africa, scientists observed that in large termite mounds, reaching heights of up to 9 metres, the temperature remained relatively cool, even when the temperatures outside exceeded 40°C. This superb natural air-conditioning system is achieved by termites thanks to an ingenious system of air pockets that generate natural ventilation. In fact, air passes through the orifices at ground level and cools down as it passes through tunnels buried deep into the ground, then comes up through the central passage and the other evacuation outlets in the termite mound, before being expelled.
Zimbabwean architect Mick Pearce has been working for 20 years now on a model of sustainable architecture by studying the principles of biomimicry. He took inspiration from the genius of the termites to create the Eastgate shopping centre in Harare (Zimbabwe). The cool air at night is captured at the base and naturally ventilates the building as the air moves progressively upwards and flows through an ingenious network of columns and outlets to then be expelled. This system saves a substantial amount of energy compared to traditional architecture.
Thanks to biomimicry and studying solutions invented by nature, we are able to apply innovative ideas to traditional manufacturing processes, and that is what the Jardin de la termitière (Garden of the Termite Mound) portrays.