Best Of: Trees
Large or small, real, fake or, ahem, no longer living - we love trees. Whether you want to live in one or just look from afar, here are our favourite buildings and installations inspired by trees. (Christmas trees not included!)
Konrads' latest installation was created for the Bad Ragartz Triennial of Sculpture in Switzerland. The piece consists of a roof stemming from a green grass-field; the wooden walls of the house seem to naturally include a pre-existent tree. The viewer can find himself puzzled, wondering if the tree rooted itself through a buried house.
The crafty hotel features seven elevated rooms able to accomodate up to 20 adults and a child (under 1.5m tall). The concept was initiated by Belgian art collective TimeCircus, who serve guests and operate the hotel playing in roles of certain characters. At sundown, they further entertain with performative art shows.
The 700-sq-m canopy comprises dodecahedrons of expanded steel mesh and translucent tile, supported on either side by tilted steel poles. The construction shades a concrete sports floor that doubles as a public plaza, while incorporating lighting for night
‘It’s partly about the material and what can be done with it, but it’s also intended as an observation of our understanding and acceptance of beauty,’ Price explains. ‘There is a certain irony in representing something so natural and ephemeral with a material that’s manmade and has a very long shelf life.’
When a client said, ‘I’d like to rest in a bed in trees,’ Japanese architect Masanori Kuwabara took on the unique challenge. The resulting Cloud is like a treehouse, complete with cozy cushioned seating. The structure is shaped like a puffy cloud, supported by the tree’s trunks. It has three rooms for standing, sitting or sleeping, which are interconnected and correspond to spaces between each trunk.
‘I want to bring back the memory of when we experienced space with our small bodies but large imaginations and borderless freedom,’ Manupipatpong says. ‘The purpose was to design a structure that can relate to adults and children, somewhere in-between reality and dream.’
‘Our project is about trying to harvest something as gently as possible so that the source of what we harvest is displayed in a pure, pedagogic and respectful way – respectful to both the source itself and to everyone visiting the building’, say architects Anders Berensson and Ulf Mejergren.
Near Waterloo Bridge, a collective of artists, engineers and designers known as Pirate Technics have created a site-specific installation. Rising 14m high, the tree-like structure doubles as a metaphor for what the Olympics represent. As the tree is wrapped in different patterned fabrics from around the world, it symbolically demonstrates the coming together of cultures.
Peering up through the forest floor, guests can see the exhibit from the perspective of an insect, says Japanese artist Takashi Kuribayashi. Pristine white, the trees are ghostly empty except for the heads of viewers popping in and out like beetles beneath the soil.
For the Hollywood library installation, Wiseman birthed a new species: Platanus bibliotechalis. He says it’s a hybrid between regional sycamores, which grow in the nearby West Hollywood park, and an alleged ancient species belonging to the library’s territory.