A modern three-story treehouse weaves through Graven Woodland Gardens in Arkansas, seemingly hovering in the air. Owned by the University of Arkansas and built by American architecture firm Modus Studio, the Evans Tree House looks down onto a children’s garden designed to encourage kids to interact with nature. It’s made of 113 ribs – ten of them steel, the rest made of heat-treated pine.
“The steel ribs and spine act as a skeleton, a vertical framework, connecting the top and bottom spines and floor plates to the six pair of columns,” the architects told Dezeen. “Steel ribs follow the same form created by the wood ribs to help conceal the structural framework of the treehouse and further the goal of creating a mysterious figure in the woods.”
“It is intended to camouflage itself into the landscape and be of the ecology of the place – organic, yet alive and mysterious in nature, purposefully inspiring children’s imaginations about the forest.”
Its shape is certainly suggestive of an enormous creature, and as visitors walk around on the ground and look up at it from below, it almost seems to transform and change shapes, looking different from every perspective. An elevated walkway connects the treehouse to an adjacent boardwalk. Inside, openings offer views of the forest, while mesh-covered play areas let kids climb around safely.
This creative project is a cool example of how pine can be used in outdoor applications, and we especially love the unusual shape the wood takes to give the treehouse its signature profile.