Austin TX · with Mell Lawrence Architects · 2019-2021
As part of the redesign of Kingsbury Commons led by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, the Tree House offers Pease Park visitors an immersive experience of the tree canopy, creating a place for both rambunctious play and quiet reflection for people of all ages and abilities.
Accessed by a pathway tucked into the hillside, the structure emerges from the forest along the main trail through the park. On the upper level, a large net invites visitors to pause and look up at the surrounding flora and fauna. Below, stone blocks and landscaping loosely define a gathering space under the net. On the hillside, a series of ramps and a steel bridge provide a fully accessible path between the two levels.
The Tree House is open to the elements and engages all the senses - the sun provides warmth in the winter, leaves offer shade in the summer, the wind blows through. It carves out an elevated, occupiable void in the forest - as the canopy densifies over the years, the space will be defined more by the surrounding trees than the structure itself. A vertical lattice of rebar forms a reed-like enclosure, participating in the shadow play of the forest.
The client prompt was seemingly simple - a tree house in the park. But through an intensive process of facilitating client meetings, we discovered a deeper desire - to celebrate and engage the incredible forests of the park and make them accessible to all. As Project Manager, I shepherded this project from Pre-Design through Construction Administration. I worked closely with the Principal Architect and the landscape architect team to generate iterative design solutions. I managed all aspects of documentation and successfully facilitated Construction Administration from out-of-state during the Covid pandemic.
Ten Eyck Landscape Architects
Architectural Engineers Collaborative
Leonid Furmansky + Casey Dunn