"Nature is the architect," Roderick Romero told us rather modestly when asked about his latest creation, a giant "nest" made from trees knocked down by Hurricane Sandy at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. While it's true that the public art piece, dubbed "Sandy Remix", was born from the aftermath of the superstorm, we think Romero should at least take a little credit. He and his crew have been working through frigid temps, snow and rain to perfect the one-of-a-kind treehouse before it opens to the public on April 6th. If you want to get a sneak peek of this magical structure before the official launch, click through our gallery to take a private tour.
Sandy Remix isn’t in a tree like some more conventional treehouses, but it is made entirely of trees – 18 different kinds of them as well as other recycled materials from around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. After finding that Hurricane Sandy had pummeled the plants, the BBG brought treehouse guru Romero in to turn them into a wooden phoenix of sorts. What rose from the ashes was a nest-like lookout that almost resembles a hurricane itself. Chunks, planks and twigs of Lebanese cedar, walnut, pin oak, bass, chestnut and even persimmon make up the walls, stairs and floor of Sandy Remix, melding together as a giant tornado of timber. “It’s like a museum of trees here,” said Romero of the many species found at the BBG. “I want children to come up here and get schooled on wood.”
A raccoon sleeping inside a tree (at least we hope it was just sleeping) right next to the Sandy Remix construction site seemed unperturbed by the sound of the chainsaw.
While most of Romero’s artistic vision is in place, there is still a lot to be done in terms of making the treehouse visitor-ready. “We’re still sanding to make it safe for the kids,” explained Jon Wagner, a Romero Studios crew member. Romero told us that earlier in the week, an older lady fell exiting Sandy Remix. He told us that she’s fine now, but it prompted him to build an extra step to make sure a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future.
Sandy Remix is scheduled to make its public debut at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on April 6, 2013. If you’re in the area, we definitely recommend that you go experience it for yourself!