Approached to design an "off-the-wall", yet real project as a marketing promotion for Yellow Pages, the concept of a working restaurant up in a large Redwood tree, is inspired by a suspended chrysalis in a fairy-tale environment overlooking a meadow and meandering stream on the edge of a forest.
At 10m wide and over 14m high with split-level floor sitting 10m above the ground, it is sustainably constructed from timber trusses forming the main structure and curved glue-laminated pine fins and popular slats to give it form. Windows are created by leaving spaces between the slats / fins that keeps the overall form yet affords a variety of permability for the views and light. Access is via a 60m tree-top walkway - an adventure in itself.
The Architectural inspiration largely came from the site - an open fairytale meadow and stream in the midst of a redwood forest plantation, understanding the nature of the tree / environment and the construction concerns about building sustainability in a living tree. An arborist advised on the best ways of looking after the tree's health.
The Treehouse is designed and built sustainably, with all timbers from sustainable sources with extremely low ecological impact and footprint, and recyclable. The external vertical look comes from the rhythm of curved gle laminated timber fins of Pinus-Radiata, with Poplar battens 'feathering' between, forming a permeable translucent skin. Acrylic sheeting forms the roof allowing sunlight to enter with the views for the diners to the treetops and stars in the night sky.
NZIA National Design Award 2012
D&AD Yellow Pencil Award (UK) 2012
Best Awards - Gold Spatial 2009
NZIA Auckland Branch Award 2009
NZ Institute of Building National Excellence Award 2009
World Architecture Awards finalist 2009
NZ Timber Design Society Design Award 2009