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Live like a primate ~ albeit only for a few hours during lunch… or dinner

August 15, 2009

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Ever wondered what it feels to live like other species, namely, primates that dwell on trees? It seems the curious human mind never ceases to explore new avenues of having fun, including living above ground on trees. Someone in Auckland, New Zealand came up with a nifty idea of opening a restaurant that sits on a platform on a tree. And The Treehouse Restaurant was born. I suppose there’s way too many much sheep, too expanse a land, and too few people in the land of the Kiwis, warranting such a novel idea to kill time. But this modern-day tree house for grown-ups it works, and it has drawn people’s attention. And the publicity this idea generated was nothing to frown about either.


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The Treehouse Restaurant is built in an enchanted forest and raised above an open meadow. The tree house story is very ancient, based on childhood dreams, playtime and fairy stories of imagination. The restaurant is designed to emulate a sea shell, with open ends spiraling in the center.
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Admittedly, we all dreamt of tree houses as kids, but such fantasy got quickly extinguished once we reached adulthood. So here’s our chance! Entrance to the tree house is via a 60 m To reach the tree house one must access tree-top ”accessible” walkway – an adventure itself. The selected tree is one of the larger trees on the site and sits above a steep part. The restaurant comes with 18 seats, wait staff and a bar. The kitchen, catering facilities and toilets are at ground level.

The Treehouse Restaurant is almost 10m wide and over 12m high, with the split-level floor 10 m above ground. Openings for windows are formed by leaving spaces between the slats/fins that retain the overall form yet affords a variety of openness for the views and light and closes down toward the rear.
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Architects, Peter Eising and Lucy Gauntlett from Pacific Environments Architects designed the tree house to be weather resistant using acrylic sheeting fixed to the roof under the fins, with vertical roll-down café-style blinds. Lighting is an important architectural component that helps change the mood, with discreet lighting on the walkway and up-lighting on the tree house.
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It is in the evenings is when The Treehouse really “comes to life”, lit up like a misplaced mollusk that has been stuck on a tree from the jurrasic period. A surreal sight indeed, no too far fetched actually, given New Zealand was the shooting location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Inspired by: Wayfaring

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