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New Zealand’s Whimsical Yellow Treehouse Restaurant
Posted By Daniel Flahiff On November 19, 2008 @ 5:00 am In Architecture,Treehouses | 8 Comments
The new Yellow Treehouse Restaurant  by New Zealand based Pacific Environments Architects Ltd.  (PEL) is a stunning architectural feat perched high above a redwood first. Appearing for all the world like an enormous chrysalis grafted onto a 40-meter-high redwood tree, the project is constructed of plantation poplar slats, redwood balustrading milled at the site, and makes extensive use of natural lighting  throughout.
When approached by the Yellow Pages  to design a treehouse, PEL  jumped at the chance. “The tree-house concept is reminiscent of childhood dreams and playtime, fairy stories of enchantment and imagination,” say PEL. “It’s the treehouse we all dreamed of as children but could only do as an adult fantasy.” The project is indeed magical, located on a rise near the edge of a wood overlooking a stream. The eighteen seat cafe—10m wide and 12m high, with kitchen and lavatories on the ground—is sure to be a hit, but sustainability questions remain.
While we love the organic design of the treehouse  and applaud its unique integration into the landscape, we wonder just how ‘green’ the project really is. Yes, glulam  beams are often a great, renewable choice for green building with less waste and a smaller carbon footprint than steel or concrete. And when building with wood, local harvesting and milling produces the smallest footprint possible. With architectural merits like these, what’s to complain about?
The question is an ongoing architect’s dilemma; is a client’s political, ethical, religious and/or environmental affiliation important? The Yellow Pages  is a case-in-point. The treehouse project is part of a large-scale marketing effort by Yellow Pages  to promote their services. The campaign includes a spokes-model , a blog , live webcam , contests , and more. Nothing wrong with a little publicity, right?
However, every year in the United States alone 500 million directories  are printed—enough for nearly 2 books for every person  in the country—that’s 9 million trees  harvested, 1.6 billion pounds of paper  consumed, 7.2 million barrels of oil  spent in processing, and so on. The E.P.A.  estimates that directories account for up to 5% of total landfill waste. Should this make a difference to an architect? We think it should. What do you think?
Via World Architecture News 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/yellow-treehouse-restaurant-by-pacific-environments-architects/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/11/19/yellow-treehouse-restaurant-by-pacific-environments-architects/
 Yellow Treehouse Restaurant: http://www.pacificenvironments.co.nz/newsarticles/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=Middle/focusModuleID=3655/overideSkinName=newsArticle-full.tpl
 natural lighting: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/09/24/som-cathedral-of-christ-the-light/
 Yellow Pages: http://yellow.co.nz/index.jsp
 treehouse: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/06/12/baumraum-magnolia-and-pine-treehouse/
 glulam: http://www.apawood.org/glu_level_b.cfm?content=prd_glu_main
 large-scale marketing effort by Yellow Pages: http://www.yellowtreehouse.co.nz/#
 spokes-model: http://www.yellowtreehouse.co.nz/#/Meet-Tracey/
 blog: http://www.yellowtreehouse.co.nz/#/Traceys-Blog/
 webcam: http://www.yellowtreehouse.co.nz/#/See-Whats-Happening/
 contests: http://www.yellowtreehouse.co.nz/#/Win-A-Table/
 500 million directories: http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/about.html
 E.P.A.: http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/wastes.html
 + Pacific Environments Architects Ltd.: http://www.pacificenvironments.co.nz
 + Yellow Pages Goes Green : http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/index.html
 World Architecture News: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10637
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