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Tree House that takes children back to woods

Unlike many other tree houses, this one is different both in terms of intent and design. Nestled in a natural Ouachita Mountain hillside along Lake Hamilton at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Evans Children’s Adventure Garden is the first of three planned tree houses for the garden that will provide an interactive educational experience for visiting children as part of an ambitious plan to bring children back into the woods. Designed by Modus Studio, the tree house uses a rich visual and tactile environment to stimulate the mind and body to strengthen connections back to the natural world, while accommodating the needs of all users.

The tree house has made it to the final list of World Architecture Festival, 2019, under Completed Buildings – Civic and Community category.

“From design to fabrication we were able to merge our childhood-earned knowledge of the natural world with our hard-earned think, make, do philosophy. Because of our own mostly-rural upbringing, it is easy to take for granted our strong connection to the creeks, forests, insects, and animals of Arkansas. However, many children in the modern world are unfortunately disconnected from this type of play,” says the Modus Studio.

The underlying theme of dendrology, the study of trees and wooded plants, drives both the form and program of the structure. The 113 fins comprising the thermalized Arkansas-sourced Southern Yellow Pine screen creates a semi-transparent and an evocative form dynamically shrouding multiple levels of spaces for children and adults alike that refocus attention to the natural wonders of the forest canopy.

The theme, design and the surroundings – all are unique in this 2018 completed project. Now all eyes are on WAF Juries. To know that one has to wait till December.

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