Sky Caves

This proposal for an urban bat habitat began with an investigation of a natural bat habitat: the cave. A cave provides not only shelter but a range of spaces, temperatures, and humidities used by different species of bats during their life cycles. The sky cave makes this hidden ecosystem visible. Using simple materials to reinterpret the prototypical bat cave, the proposal allows bats to inhabit the site on their own terms, while literally revealing their habitation to both researchers and the general public.
A sky cave is not a building. Part tree and part cave, each construction is a highly visible instance of a bat habitat. While the discrete, elevated caves are conducive to scientific observation, they also encourage the public to consider the specific qualities of the bat habitat and the place of that habitat in the wider landscape. Plants growing in the double skin and insulating the interior, for example, are an outwardly-visible signal that the sky caves are more than simple enclosures. Each small but complex constructed environment is an object lesson in bat ecology, literally held up for all to see.

Sky Caves was honored at the Women in Design symposium at BuildBoston 2007.


View from habitat path 


 


 


Initial diagrams 


Sky Cave components 


Revealing the interior habitat 


Simple construction methodology 


Physical model of sky cave 


Section through pavilion 


View of park pavilion 


Aerial view of bat habitat