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When Colenso BBDO apprised Pacific Environments Architects for a ‘reality’ TV advertisement for an off-the-wall functioning restaurant, Pacific Environments grabbed the opportunity. The idea was to source all products and services through Yellow Pages listings which are the book, online and mobile.
PEL assisted project managers The Building Intelligence Group, Colenso BBDO and Yellow in the selection of the enormous Redwood tree on which the treehouse is to be built which is over 40m high and 1.7m diameter at the base, on a site north of Auckland.
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 construction sits almost 10m wide and over 12m high, with the split-level floor sitting 10m off the ground. Timber trusses form the main structure. The curved fins are glue-laminated pine, plantation poplar has been used for the slats and redwood milled from the site used in the walkway balustrading.
Openings are formed for windows by leaving spaces between the slats/fins that keeps the overall form yet affords a variety of openness for the views and light and closes down toward the rear. To loosen the regularity of the elements, steel is wrapped arbitrarily around the pod.
Architects: Pacific Environments
Project Managers: The Building Intelligence Group
Engineers: Holmes Consulting – Chris MacKenzie & John Worth, Martin Feeney – Holmes Fire Building Contractors: NZ Strong – Shane Brealey, Paddy Molloy, Megan Roberts; Citywide Construction Ltd – Jim Bellamy Timber
Fins: McIntosh Timber Laminates – Owen Griffiths, Sandy Sandiford
Lighting: ECC Lighting & Furniture
Photographs: Lucy Gauntlett
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