Ecotourism poses a tricky dilemma: whilst tourists provide a much needed source of income for preserving endangered… Read More
Acacia Arboricola Synthetica
Ecotourism poses a tricky dilemma: whilst tourists provide a much needed source of income for preserving endangered habitats, their very presence poses a threat (or at least a disturbance) to the very wildlife they seek to enjoy. This project adopts a strategy of biomimicry to deal with the problem.
The branches of this synthetic tree situated in the African Savanah a organised according to a fractal branching pattern, tuned to mimic the iconic profile of the African Acacia Tree. The ultra lightweight structure blends into the landscape so as not to perturb or distract roaming wildlife. With its intricate network of trampolines, rope ladders, and tents, the treehouse・provides alternative accommodation for 21st century safarists as they spy upon game sipping from the watering hole below.
Mesh trampolines span between each module of 6 branches to form the terracing floor network vertically connected by rope ladders. Starting in a large communal hall within the very heart of the tree, one ascends through the hive-like structure the interior spaces that diminish in size with each level. Tent-like PTFE-clad sleeping capsules are strung throughout the topmost tree canopy. The structure's overall integrity is derived from the tensile restraint of the cables, fabric, and mesh.
A simple 6-branch fractal branching pattern generates the tree, structure and overall shape. The angle and proportion of the branches entails that they join at pin-jointed nodes. These joints are also interconnected with a network of cable tie members, creating a tensile spaceframe at each level. The structure is held very rigid whilst being lightweight.