Welcome to “Extreme Makeover: The Parisian Edition”. During this episode, you will see one of the tallest structures in the world completely transformed. Prepare to be amazed as the French icon is covered with 600,000 plants in an effort to take it from Eiffel Tower to Eiffel Tree—the world’s largest tree to boot.
Sounds crazy, but French engineering group Ginger has proposed to do just that: to cover the iconic Eiffel Tower in plants weighing a total of 378 tonnes. While the prototype is currently undergoing testing to see how the structure will hold up under the additional weight, should the roughly $99 million project be approved, the Eiffel Tower could become the world’s largest tree by January of 2014.
The creation of the Eiffel Tree is not as easy as simply attaching plants to the steel structure, as you may have imagined. The process begins with seedling cultivation. The seedlings, placed in bags of soil, would be hung from the structure by hemp rope until January 2013. Plants would begin to grow until January 2014 and would be left on the Eiffel Tower until July of 2016.
So after all of that, the Eiffel Tree would only be standing in full effect for two years. Sure, the plants would be absorbing 87.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide, but the project itself would produce 84.2 tonnes. Now, ask yourself, is that really worth it for the novelty?
I must admit though, the thought of seeing the structure covered in plants has got me curious. While the Eiffel Tower is definitely jaw-dropping in its magnitude, I can’t say it’s the most visually pleasing thing in the world (refer to above). Covering it in plants could make it less of an eyesore. But what was that line about curiosity and the cat again?