3.3 Owl tower, de Bedelaar


An owl tower at the Bedelaar estate. it was heated through a chimney to provide a pleasant temperature for owls and bats during the winter months, 1937 Haelen (NL).

De uilentoren op het landgoed de Bedelaar is in 1937 gebouwd door Eugéne Dubois. Als wetenschapper met vele werkgebieden voerde hij als ecoloog op het landgoed experimenten uit op het terrein van de natuurontwikkeling. De toren heeft vier verdiepingen waarvan op de bovenste etages nestgelegenheden voor uilen en torenvalken zijn aangebracht en een etage lager voor zwaluwen. Het grootste gedeelte is voor vleermuizen, die zorgen voor de bestrijding van muggen en insecten. Om in de winter een constante temperatuur voor de vleermuizen te verzorgen is in de toren een stookplaats aangebracht waarvan het rookkanaal door alle verdiepingen voert.

text: JV

(bron: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)

more info: website Rijksmonumenten


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Sand martins nest in burrows they dig in rocks and hills. Areas rich in water, in particular canals and streams, are their natural habitat. Due to canalization and other water management, many of the natural breeding grounds disappeared. At Montrose Basin in Scotland, volunteers have therefore given these birds a helping hand by building a sand martin wall. This consists of two walls of hollow concrete blocks that are anchored to each other with an auxiliary structure. Sand was placed between the walls, which are approximately two meters apart. The coarsecompacted sand was covered with soil and vegetation. The insects attracted to the flowers and plants are now a food source for the sand martins. On both sides, holes were made into the wall, all of them numbered to facilitate systematic observation. The birds use their beaks to bore tunnels of up to a metre deep in the sand.





ANIMAL WALL: Deluxe Apartme...
photo’s: Keiran Ridley

Cardiff Bay has grown in recent decades at the expense of urban green. To limit the impact of new development, artist Gitta Gschwendtner was asked to realize an ecological artwork. A thousand new nest boxes for birds and bats were integrated into a 50-metre long wall. As part of a new development at Century Wharf she designed four types of nest boxes together with an ecologist. To show the scale of the new development, the number of nests equals that of the number of newly built apartments. The Animal Wall Deluxe is made of wood-crete, a mixture of wood and concrete, in the same colour as the stone used in the Animal Wall in Bute Park. It is part of a larger ecological project in Cardiff Bay.

-CARDIFF (UK) 2009


Animal Deluxe shares resemblance with the famous Animal Wall designed by William Burges in 1890; it was moved to its current location in Bute Park in 1925.


Animal Wall, William Burges

more info: Gitta Gschwendtner

3.3 Birdhouse


Birdbox made as ceramic rooftile. Design: Klaas Kuiken.

Vogels kruipen van oudsher graag onder dakpannen om daar te nestelen. In moderne met dakpannen belegde daken zijn mogelijke nestplaatsen zorgvuldig weggewerkt. Dit omdat met het bouwen van nesten het isolatie materiaal beschadigd en de ventilatie onder de dakpan blokkeert.

Om het er voor vogels toch mogelijk te maken te nestelen heeft ontwerper Klaas Kuiken in samenwerking met Vogelbescherming Nederland het Vogelhuis (Birdhouse) ontworpen. Het stereotype vogelhuis is geïntegreerd in de typische terracotta dakpan. Het huisje heeft een bodem van hout met ventilatieopeningen. De bodem is goed te verwijderen zodat het huisje als het nodig mocht zijn van onderaf kan worden schoongemaakt. Om deze manier kunnen er zich weer meer vogels gaan nestelen in en om de stad zonder het dak van de bewoners eronder te vernielen.

text: JV



more info: website Klaas Kuiken

3.3 Nest



Birdnest, two plates around a branch. Design: Remy & Veenhuizen.

Dit vogelhuis bestaat uit twee schalen die om een tak aan elkaar kunnen worden geschroefd. Het product is ontworpen om in onderontwikkelde gebieden te worden geproduceerd. Het is onderdeel van een project wat als doel heeft kinderen naar school te laten gaan zodat ook zij uiteindelijk goed toegerust het ouderlijk huis kunnen ontvliegen. text:JV


more info: project Bird nest Birdhousee


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The common swift originates from rocky areas. They see our buildings as one big rock formation. On their part, people realized that common swifts feed on insects. As early as the fifteenth century, openings for these birds to fly into buildings were specially made, for instance in the end wall (the cross) of the former Agnes convent in Elburg. Each bird brick is 12 by 12 centimetres and has a round opening of 3.6 centimetres for the birds to fly in. The cavity in the wall is 18 centimetres deep. For centuries, common swifts have been returning here every year, after wintering in Africa, to catch insects, including those that are harmful to humans.


-ELBURG (NL) 1418



The project Filter Factory was first and foremost a statement about the littering behaviour of smokers. Cigarette ends, especially the filters, are a substantial part of all our street litter. Some birds eat butts because these look like food, others ingest them indirectly because the synthetic fibres of the filters become mixed with other foods. But birds also use butts as building material. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, which has a good heat-insulating effect. Another advantage is that the nicotine from the butts keeps away parasites, such as leeches. On average, 2.5 kilogrammes of cigarette filters end up in the streets per smoker per year. For the project Filter Factory, smokers could deposit their butts in special machines. They saw how their litter was shredded into building material for birdhouses right then and there. A machine that looked like some kind of waffle iron pressed the mixture into birdhouses. After every 300 butts, a door opened and the happy smoker could take a birdhouse home. This way, designer Isaac Monté used the theme of street litter in a statement that on the one hand stimulated smokers to not just throw away their cigarette ends and on the other hand showed that even seemingly useless material can be of value.



more info: website Isaac Monté