Yesterday the Tree Museum opened outside of Zurich in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, showcasing an incredible collection of 2,000 different species of trees. The museum was designed and built by Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea with the help of Oppenheim Architecture + Design (OAD), who designed Enzo Enea’s new headquarters. The Tree Museum and the sustainably-built headquarters are located on the grounds of a 14th Century monastery, and the museum displays Enea’s personal collection of trees, which he has gathered over the past 17 years.
Enzo Enea selected Chad Oppenheim from a group of eight leading architects from around the world to design the headquarters along with the Tree Museum. Enea chose Oppenheim because he felt that he best understood what he wanted to accomplish with the Tree Museum — the headquarters are designed to act as the perfect backdrop to showcase the trees. The building itself does include a number of sustainable features, such as the use of sustainably-sourced local wood, which blends with the surrounding forest, natural daylighting, efficient insulation, a green roof and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
The Tree Museum houses 2,000 trees on 2.5 acres, with a special installation of about 50 species personally curated by Enea from around the world. Trees are highlighted against sandstone wall backdrops and include 22 different varieties ranging from Taxus baccata to English yew, Pinus sylvestris, and Scotch pine. Enea has collected these trees over the last 17 years during various projects when trees had to be removed from the site. So instead of getting rid of them, he kept them and now has his own special museum, where visitors can view hundreds of trees for a reasonable fee.