Many people dream of being able to fly or climb through breathtaking tree-top canopies while experiencing a different perspective of the world from up high. The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway is a 18 meters (59 ft) tall sky bridge that provides this opportunity while offering an amazing view of the very tips of the trees. Situated in London's Kew Gardens People's Arboretum - home to a diverse and beautiful range of trees - the walkway brings visitors close to the world that we so often forget.
The soaring tree-centric superstructure was designed to weather extreme conditions while following the form of the forest, maintaining a balance with the surrounding gardens. The final construction, made from 20 bas-relief bronze plaques, has a timeless presence that lifts visitors up into the sky to stand tall among the trees.
Beginning underground at the roots, a spiraling staircase takes you up and up, following the strong lines of the sturdy trees that surround the construction. The circular walkway is made of mesh, and has several well-placed viewing platforms where visitors can rest and take in the view.
The structure imitates the dimensions of the trees, and the metal’s natural aging process also produces the characteristic green ‘verdigris’ often found on ancient bronzes. Naturally following the swaying movement of the trees, the walkway is not for vertigo sufferers — but it is certainly worth overcoming fear to see the views of distant highrises over the tree-tops and far-reaching fields.
Images courtesy of RGB Kew and James Morley