Yellow Treehouse Restaurant

23 April, 2010

PROJECT Yellow Treehouse Restaurant
LOCATION near Auckland, New Zealand
ARCHITECTS Pacific Environments | Peter Eising & Lucy Gauntlett
ENGINEERS Holmes Consulting Group
PHOTOGRAPHY Lucy Gauntlett
YEAR 2009

Transporting grown-ups back to their childhood fantasies is this tree house designed by New Zealand’s Pacific Environments Architects. The structure is a curved cocoon-like form fixed high in a redwood tree at the edge of a forest; it boasts a restaurant with views of the surrounding meadows, and is accessed via a gently sloping walkway appropriate for wheelchairs.

From the architects:

“The tree-house concept is reminiscent of childhood dreams and playtime, fairy stories of enchantment and imagination . It’s inspired through many forms found in nature -the chrysalis/cocoon protecting the emerging butterfly/moth, perhaps an onion/garlic clove form hung out to dry. It is also seen as a lantern, a beacon at night that simply glows yet during the day it might be a semi camouflaged growth, or a tree fort that provides an outlook and that offers refuge. The plan form also has loose similarities to a sea shell with the open ends spiralling to the centre.”

The project was developed in collaboration with agency Colenso BBDO and directory Yellow Pages as part of an advertising campaign. A “reality TV” advertising spot was developed around the construction, with all contractors being sourced through the Yellow Pages. The restaurant was then opened to the public from 9 January – 9 February 2009. The site-specific structure uses sustainable materials, including plantation poplar and redwood harvested from the site. It is made weather-resistant with acrylic sheeting and interior vertical roll-down blinds.

The Treehouse has been recognised for its architecture both locally and internationally; it won the 2010 NZ Institute of Architects National Design Award and was a finalist in the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards.

see also WAN | Tables in the Treetops

The tree-house concept is reminiscent of childhood dreams and playtime, fairy stories of enchantment and imagination . It’s inspired through many forms found in nature -the chrysalis/cocoon protecting the emerging butterfly/moth, perhaps an onion/garlic clove form hung out to dry. It is also seen as a lantern, a beacon at night that simply glows yet during the day it might be a semi camouflaged growth, or a tree fort that provides an outlook and that offers refuge.The plan form also has loose similarities to a sea shell with the open ends spiralling to the centre .

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