Abandon your preconceptions of the architect as a quiet, bespeckled intellectual who cares more about sharp Italian suits and clean concrete lines than about saving trees. Here comes a new breed of architectural environmental activism in rising star Andrew Maynard, who has designed these awesome treehouses in order to protest logging.
The vigilant protection of endangered forests represents an enduring legacy of environmental activism, from the Chipko movement in India in the early 70s to Julia Butterfly Hill’s long sit in the redwoods. Few things deter a logger from felling a tree more effectively than a protester clinging fiercely to its trunk. Except maybe a protest structure that clings to three trunks at once.
On top of being a wildly inventive architect, Andrew Maynard – whose prefabs have been widely lauded for their astounding multiplicity and brilliant design – turns out to be a cleverly scheming activist. Maynard’s Global Rescue Station fastens semi-permanently to the body of three trees, promising not only to shelter and protect protestors during their demonstrations, but to take out anything beneath or around it if a logger dares to cut down its supports.
Maynard’s Global Rescue Station initially emerged in the midst of opposition to clearcutting in Tasmania’s Styx Valley Forest. The first iteration consisted of two platforms roped into the canopy of a single gum tree (affectionately named Gandalf). Maynard has since advanced his protest design strategy to create the concept for GRS Generation 2, which uses far more refined methods and materials to create a bi-level shelter replete with solar panels and sleeping quarters. Those Earth Firsters might be wishing they’d had Mr. Maynard in their posse a few years back…
Check back tomorrow for more on Maynard’s prefab work, a follow-up to our Australian prefab post.