Steel Structure Trivia: Botanical Birdhouse

Spring is officially here! Birdhouses are commonly seen this season, but human-sized? The above structure, part art installation, part human-scale birdhouse, is located at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens and was built to inspire visitors to connect with nature and understand the importance of plants in our lives. Its organic form, designed by Overland Partners Architects and Datum Engineers, inspires creativity and imagination while pushing the limits of digital design and fabrication. It is constructed out of 70 plates of 12-gauge weathering steel wrapped around a robin’s egg blue internal octahedral structure and perforated with over 1,000 Ball Mason jars, which illuminate the interior space while providing a visible connection to the outside world. (Photo: Patrick Winn) 

Our March trivia question is:

The designers of the birdhouse structure chose a form inspired from nature, rather than pursuing a form that resembles a small human house (as is typically seen in most birdhouses). What thing was the structure’s form inspired by?


The correct answer is a bottle gourd, which was first used in its hollowed-out form by Native Americans to attract purple martin birds as a nesting spot. (You can read more about the project, known as “The Gourd,” in our August 2015 Cool List. Congratulations to our sole winner: Jeff Rodeheaver, detailing manager for SWF Industrial, Inc., Wrightsville, Pa.!

You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new trivia question will be posted to the News section. Our next challenge will be posted on Friday, April 29 at noon CT.