The Treehouse at Cornell
The Treehouse at Cornell
The Treehouse at Cornell takes architecture to new heights with a teaching space in the trees for Cornell Outdoor Education
The Treehouse at Cornell takes architecture to new heights with a teaching space in the trees for Cornell Outdoor Education Read more
Let's build a Treehouse at Cornell
This project isn't just a treehouse, it's an ever-changing reminder of the relationship between humans and trees.
It just so happens that Cornell Outdoor Education has one of the foremost tree climbing programs in the world! As a tree climbing instructor for almost 5 years, I can attest to the incredible effort that goes into teaching hundreds of students per year how to climb in the beautiful forests of Ithaca, NY. We also run expeditions to Costa Rica and even the Giant Sequoias.
The Treehouse will be sited on Mount Pleasant, Ithaca's highest point overlooking the university. This would give both students and community members the chance to experience the sensation of being amongst the leaves in the top of a beautiful 208-year-old Red Oak.
The Treehouse is a rare opportunity to focus architecture on the mediation between two living organisms: Humans & Trees. There is an incredible feeling when one arrives at a treehouse. Treehouse patrons can attest to the primal, childlike wonder of escaping into the trees. Everyone should experience the world from the canopy at least once.
Meet the Trees
Say hello to Daisy and Maggie. Daisy is a 208-year-old Red Oak, who started growing the same year apple cider was invented. Maggie, standing only twelve feet away, is a strong Ash Tree with just under 180 years under her belt. She started growing the same year Darwin went to meet the finches.
Where Will the Money Go?
All the money goes to building the treehouse.
What has been done so far?
The short answer is: a lot! The link will take you to a more detailed account of the design process, but I'll do my best to summarize here.
The project began as a passion when I started at Cornell 5 years ago as an architecture student. Now in my final year, this project is a culmination of my experiences working with Cornell Outdoor Education and my studies in the fantastic College of Architecture, Art and Planning.
Now after a running start the project is nearing a final design, but it took the following steps to get there:
- Pick the site (Mt. Pleasant where COE owns a large plot of land)
- Pick the trees (healthy, big, and great for climbing)
- Take Core Samples
- Measure and digitally model the trees in 3D
- Research the types of trees
- Examine movement and growth diagrams
- Determine form
- Derive structure
- Pick a material palate
- Cost analysis
... and last but not least: FUNDING!!!
How Kickstarter Works
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. If you decide to become a backer, your payment will only go through if the project reaches its stated goal of $5000 by the April 29th deadline. If the project doesn't reach its goal, no credit cards will be charged, and you, as a backer, lose nothing for having invested. If the project does reach its goal, the funding goes through and your selected level of reward will be shipped to you by the time indicated.
Backers are the heart and soul of Kickstarter, it's people like you who make these incredible projects come to life. Thank you for taking the time to consider The Treehouse at Cornell and I hope you decide to back us!
For More Tree Climbing Excitement:
Risks and challenges
There are many risks inherent in any "built" project. However, with a steady stream of professionals and advisors helping to check the coherence of the design, the plan for construction, the structural integrity, etc. the factor of safety is incredibly high. This project coincides with my undergraduate thesis and my professors and advisors have countless combined years of designing and constructing projects at many different scales.
To eliminate any surprises in cost, material availability, or methods of construction, a small mock-up portion of the treehouse has already been built and hauled into place in the tree. This has given a great deal of insight into ways to improve the project and cut down on cost while improving safety. To account for any delays, a large portion of time has been blocked out after the initial construction deadline to ensure the project meets it final goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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