Australian National Botanic Gardens

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Construction of the Paperbark Treehouse at the Gardens has begun with a “charring party” to prepare some of the recycled timber that’s a feature of the project.

The Friends of the Gardens, who commissioned the new treehouse, were invited to help out with the blowtorch, using the traditional Japanese technique for carbonising wood, Yakisugi.

Cave Urban architect Nici Long said the use of charred timber is an artistic feature of the treehouse.

“It is not only a symbol of bushfire and regeneration, it also preserves the timber and provides a textural finish that actually reduces the fire risk,” Ms Long said.

“The treehouse is being built to the outline of the existing paperbark grove. The surrounding trees form part of the artwork. The darkened structure through charring will be a backdrop to the forest as a shadow. It will be a lovely background to highlight the forest in the foreground.”

The final artwork will also be an example of sustainable building. The timber is all recycled, sourced from trees in the Gardens and local timber recyclers. Every piece of timber will have a story or history that will be expressed through the final treehouse.

The treehouse is due to be ready in time to enjoy this summer.