Just about every building is made, at least in part, from trees. But Chop Stick, by Visiondivision, won’t let you forget that fact. It’s a “treehouse” made almost entirely from a single yellow poplar tree for 100 Acres park in Indiana. For an additional twist, every bit of the tree that wasn’t used served as an epic cross beam for the structure. So to the onlooker, there’s basically a whole tree sticking straight through a wooden kiosk.
“Normally, we don’t think about where things are coming from in our daily life, and we really wanted to make it obvious,” the team tells me. “Paper, bricks, mobile phones, whatever they might be, don’t just pop up by themselves … our idea is that we should really show this raw material in a pedagogic way, to see where things are coming from, and to also make a pretty awesome building.”
The project required an incredible amount of patient ingenuity. Once the actual tree had been selected, all of its bark was removed and treated to serve as shingles (shingles that are maintenance free for 80 years, I might add). For the remainder of the project, the team had to closely analyze the shape of the tree itself to see which chunks could be removed without destroying its structural integrity.
“We had to calculate each board that was required for the kiosk and also say exactly where this piece of wood was coming from,” the team explains, who labels this process the most difficult part of the project. Of course, these cuts gave the tree a newly balanced weight, meaning new mathematical simulations were run frequently, leading to the inverted jigsaw puzzle that was ultimately built.
In its new life, the tree will provide a beautiful swingset for kids in the park, and it will also serve refreshments. On the menu? Yellow poplar syrup that was extracted from the tree’s bark. As the team put it best, “you could actually eat a part of the building.”
[Hat tip: ArchDaily]