Yellow Treehouse is a striking pod-shaped structure of Pine, Poplar and Redwood, built ten metres high in a redwood tree near Warkworth, north of Auckland.
Created as part of an advertising campaign, its function was as a temporary restaurant (February 09) and then to be opened up for private functions and maybe public access.
Peter Eising and his team at Pacific Environment Architects said the brief was ideal for an architect because it was very open in terms of where and how the treehouse should be built. A great deal of care was taken in minimising the project’s impact on the surrounding forest. An arborist was contracted to select a robust tree and the one used is about 40 years old. The tree was tested for the amount of give in strong winds, by using a line attached to a bulldozer.
Eising’s design is inspired through forms found in nature and is reminiscent of a butterfly’s chrysalis. The architectural component embodies a simple oval, or pod, form wrapped organically around the tree’s trunk and featuring two internal levels. Designed to account for the site’s sunny aspect, the treehouse is clad with vertical timber fins which aid natural cooling. The treehouse provided the restaurant’s dining room and is designed to support 25 people, with access provided by an elevated tree-top walkway. The tree’s diameter at the platform level is 1.1m and the structure is securely fastened to the trunk using steel saddles. Parts of the walkway were built using redwood milled from two dead trees from the surrounding forest, which was originally planted for wood chipping. Sustainably-grown pine and poplar were used for the vertical fins and slats respectively.
Currently the Treehouse is closed as it is awaiting new resource consent. Once this has been granted, it will be open for private and corporate functions. It is still able to be viewed from the carpark.
Winner – Outdoor Infrastructure
NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2009