Page B2.2 . 11 February 2004                     
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    Tree Play

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    Bucciero explains: "With its geometric forms, curves, and structural elements, this tree house is an expression of the dialectic balance between nature and architecture. Varying elevations provide perspectives from ground to canopy. Tree Tectonics engages the user in an active experience of the environment mediated through architecture."

    Tree Tectonics was intended as a study of three-dimensional movement and form. The idea, Bucciero recalls, was generated from the tree, the site topography, and winding motion of the stairs around the tree. The tree provides structural support for the ramp and platform through the use of a cable, arch, and railing suspension system.

    Another project, called "The Leaning Tower of Tree," was designed by Powell & Partners Design/Build. The team was inspired by a hickory tree in the botanical garden that towers at an obvious angle. They constructed their leaning tower primarily of wood with PVC columns. It had operable doors at the bottom that opened to pull-chains that visitors could use to ring bells mounted in the belfry.

    An interactive "Woodland Giant" was designed by Mark and Connor Daniel of BlinkSites, a division of New Market Technologies. This giant creature peered out at visitors from behind an oak tree. Inside were levers to move the giant's eyes, a crank to turn the gears of the Giant's mind, and a drum on which to play his heart beat.

    "Synthesis" was described by designers Kris Perpich & Peiter Buick of the Savannah College of Art and Design as the inner workings of a photosynthetic biological engine. "Children and adults may filter through this biological engine, composed of unconventional materials including photovoltaic cells, a trampoline mat, and sheet latex. Synthesis educates the community on the way solar energy is converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis and the basis of the food chain."

    "Musical Flight," designed by Robert Tretsch and Edward Palisoc of Ink Architects, was nestled in an oak near the sculpture Stillness and Growth and took the shape of a perched songbird. A swing in movement strummed a melody from a wood, wire, and steel, sound chamber while wings flapped in the breeze. Counter-balancing wood "tail feathers" anchored the tree house.

    Educational programming and special events surrounding these and the other six tree houses included an environmental day camp for children and continuing education classes for adults on sustainable design and tree selection for home landscapes.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    The TREEmendous TREEhouses Exhibit was funded in part by Home Depot, Turner South, Atlanta Home, accessAtlanta and Re-source Real Estate Marketing, Inc.

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    "The Leaning Tower of Tree," by Powell & Partners Design/Build, was one of the nondestructive tree houses featured at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
    Photo: Atlanta Botanical Garden

    ArchWeek Image

    "Woodland Giant" by BlinkSites was a playground for children.
    Photo: Atlanta Botanical Garden

    ArchWeek Image

    "Synthesis," by designers from the Savannah College of Art and Design, explained the process of photosynthesis.
    Photo: Atlanta Botanical Garden

    ArchWeek Image

    "Musical Flight," by Ink Architects, was a swing that strummed a melody from a sound chamber above.
    Photo: Atlanta Botanical Garden

     

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