Dining in a Yellow Treehouse
Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, New Zealand
Pacific Environments NZ Ltd, New Zealand
The vision was of a chrysalis-inspired ‘pod-form’ wrapped around the trunk of a tree and capable of supporting 30 diners.
The challenge was to create a building that captured people’s imagination, sense of intrigue and was yet within the ‘realm of reality’. The nature of the tree/ environment and concern about building sustainably in a living tree were at the forefront while constructing the halfway-up-a-tree restaurant.
The vision of a chrysalis-inspired ‘pod-form’ wrapped around the trunk of a tree and capable of supporting 30 diners largely came from the site – an open, fairy tale meadow and stream in the midst of a redwood forest plantation. The circular floor plan for the 13 metre-high building is almost 10 metres in diameter, split and slid along the axis which forms a natural opening for entry from one side and a balcony along the other.
The restaurant is accessed via a 60 metre-long adventurous treetop walkway made from Redwood milled on site and is wheelchair compliant. Kitchen and toilet facilities are placed on the ground leaving the treehouse floor flexible for a unique dining experience. The external vertical look comes from the rhythm of curved glue laminated timber fins of Pinus-Radiata, with Poplar battens ‘feathering’ between, forming a permeable translucent skin.
The structure complies with all Resource management and Building code requirements including access for the disabled and fire compliancy. During daytime, the structure is a natural and organic part of the forest behind it and by night it transforms into a glowing lantern.