PEL construct treehouse restaurant as part of Yellow's marketing campaign
As part of an extravagant advertising campaign, directory firm Yellow Pages invited Pacific Environment Architects Ltd to collaborate with them on the design for this treehouse restaurant. The form itself is a grown-ups tree house, designed using multiple fins of wood in a simple oval form. Comparisons have ranged from the obvious onion and garlic clove to a chrysalis or cocoon, whereas the architects themselves have referred to the structure as ‘reminiscent of childhood dreams and playtime, fairy stories of enchantment and imagination’.
Set on the edge of a forest, with panoramic views over the surrounding open meadows and streams, the structure itself is attached to one of the tallest giant redwood trees in the area. Situated 10m up the 40m trunk, the form is connected to the tree with steel collars at the top and bottom, with a circular plan that is split apart on the axis with the rear floor portion raised. Having reached a midway stage of the project, PEL were informed that they would have to provide wheelchair access to their suspended treehouse. With this in mind, a gently sloping walkway was constructed between the trees, allowing easy access to disabled visitors.
One of the leading architects on the design team, Peter Eising, said: “I haven’t designed a treehouse since my childhood, let alone built a restaurant in one. I’ve been amazed at the interest from media and the design community overseas and, now that it’s completed, I’m really proud of the way it’s turned out.” The project has won multiple architectural awards, including the New Zealand Institute of Architects Branch Award, Gold Award at the New Zealand Institute of Design - BEST Awards and Excellence Award from the New Zealand Institue of Building. It was also a finalist at the World Architecture Awards 2009.