The tree house

Byrd, Hugh (2009) The tree house. [Artefact]

Treehouse short version.pdf
[img] PDF
Treehouse short version.pdf - Presentation
Restricted to Repository staff only

Item Type:Artefact
Item Status:Live Archive


Although a small building, the Tree house design touched the hearts of many people in NZ and around the world. It won all the major architectural and design awards(1) in NZ and was a finalist in the 2009 World Architecture Festival awards(2). Published in over 200 journals and books(3), over 100 Youtube videos, with over 6 million ‘hits’ on our website and catalogued by Google as an “Architectural Wonder”, the images in the media hide the research that went into it.

The research falls broadly into 3 main areas: the creative design, the structural analysis and the constructional complexities. The series of slides show the process from conception to completion and relate to the text below.

The creative research was based on analysing built forms that resonate with the primal instincts of the security that our ancestors would have had from living in trees: an inhabitable cocoon or chrysalis; a childhood dream.

Taking the concept to construction required innovative research for the design to achieve code compliance. A new (“Ping”) test was devised by the structural engineers(4) to prove that a living tree can comply with NZ earthquake design criteria. Working with an arborist, structural fixing were designed that provided support without harming the tree (strangely, the kindest way to fix to a tree is to drill straight through it!).

The building is made from the trees of the forest and research involved the selection of trees to be felled and the physical constraints of large laminated timber components. The fins were the largest that could be made in NZ in one continuous piece(5). To avoid unbalanced loads during construction, the tree was supported by a web of guy ropes running deep into the forest.






Keywords:tree house
Subjects:H Engineering > H210 Structural Engineering
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K130 Architectural Technology
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Art & Design
Related URLs:
ID Code:9336
Deposited On:07 May 2013 17:44

Repository Staff Only: item control page