modus studio sculpts native pine ribs into evans tree house in arkansas
 

modus studio sculpts native pine ribs into evans tree house in arkansas

nestled in the garvan woodland gardens, modus studio created the evans tree house for the university of arkansas. the site is a 210-acre botanical garden near the town of hot springs in central arkansas, with the treehouse situated in a peninsula surrounded by the quachita river. the area, a children’s adventure garden, is surrounded by native trees such as pines and oaks, which match the building’s aesthetic. 

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

images © timothy hursley

 

the designers were inspired by dendrology, the scientific study of trees, for the building’s organic form and educational program. they wanted the elevated treehouse to camouflage itself into the landscape and appear to seamlessly blend with its surroundings. the multistory treehouse is boomerang-shaped in plan, elevated four to 7.6 meters off the ground by steel columns to preserve the natural world underneath. the treehouse’s elevation brings visitors closer to the tree canopies, recreating the magical feeling of being high up in the trees.

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

 

 

the treehouse aims to provide an interactive educational experience where children can explore nature closely. it is meant to present a rich visual and tactile environment for visitors to find a deeper connection to the surrounding nature, while accommodating the needs of the users. the treehouse’s sheer wooden skin creates a play on light and shadows, reflected in the interior of the space. this simulates the sunlight’s effect through a tree canopy, placing the visitors even closer to the natural world. small viewholes that cut through the skin enable an unobstructed view to the neighboring trees. 

 modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

 

the treehouse’s structural system resembles ribs connected to a central spine. 113 ribs in total contour the space, where 10 of the ribs are made of steel, and the rest are made of thermalized southern yellow pine native to arkansas. the treatment uses heat and steam to increase the pine’s durability and increase its weather resistance. all the ribs connect to a top central steel beam that runs through the entire building as well as a bottom spine. the bottom spine holds the floor plates and connects them to the six pairs of slender columns.

 modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

 

modus studio was involved in the project from its conception to the fabrication of the metal meshes at the building’s sides. the openings towards the building’s east and north provide a bigger viewing area into the forest, and are clad in a metal mesh recreating leaves and branches. the metal screen was water-jet cut at modus studio’s in-house fabrication workshop. through the firms design-to-fabrication approach, the designers felt connected to the project, merging their childhood experience in nature with the studio’s ‘think-make-do’ philosophy. the sculptural, dynamic result creates a magical space for children and adults alike to reconnect with nature. 

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

 modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

modus-studio-evans-tree-house-arkansas-04-26-19-designboom

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

architect: modus studio

architectural team: chris baribeau, josh siebert, suzana annable, scott penman, philip rusk, jody verser

fabrication team: jason wright, reice brummett, paul siebenthal, alex cogbill, kevin brown

civil engineer: ecological design group

structural engineer: engineering consultants, inc

exhibit designer: 3. fromme design

contractor: cdi contractors

owner: garvan woodland gardens, university of arkansas

photography: timothy hursley

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    486,329 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    privacy policy