A Tower of Trees
A treehouse adjoins a large silver lime tree located toward the eastern edge of London’s Kew Gardens. The 10 saplings scattered among the tower represent the number of mature specimens harvested to amass the wood needed to build the cross-laminated timber structure. The diagram depicts the idealized life cycle of the treehouse: Trees 20–30 years old are felled and go through the timber production process; a more advanced contemporary CLT fabrication follows, resulting in highly customized components that are flat-packed, delivered, and assembled on site. Once the treehouse reaches the end of its life cycle, it is turned into mulch to help sustain the 10 trees that were part of the original design, which will be used to produce the next treehouse. The goal is to provide visitors with a clearer understanding of the importance of renewable resources.
“Part folly, part viewing portal, and part playscape, it seems to expand a definition of what architecture can be. The formal moves are carefully executed and convincing, especially in section, allowing multiple levels for visitors to engage with the tree.”