Treehouse in Israel: The Youth Wing for Art Education Entrance Courtyard
The entrance courtyard of the Youth Wing for Art Education at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is a main gathering place for visitors- adults, children and groups- within its modern concrete- and-stone architectural surroundings.
Architects Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski have conceived this projects (the renewal of the Art Education Entrance Courtyard of the Israel Museum), which combines a program open to interpretation by its users with a clearly defined context.
The existing pine tree was the focus of the project, a physical anchor of the overall design concept. As a tribute to the childhood collective memory of a tree house, the architects have positioned high up in the tilted trunk, a small roofed structure where children can hide and overlook the meticulous surroundings of the museum. The project’s blueprints can be downloaded here (20 Mb pdf).
Along with its strong iconic appearance, this treehouse also functions as the peak of one continuous structural folded element, which allows various situations to occur along. The structural technique (a 2 cm Ipea boards fixed to a light steel skeleton) creates a range of transparencies from top to bottom.
While gradually transforming towards the ground, the element’s surface becomes a playground; the sitting elements frame a topography covered with a soft EPDM rubber surface to prevent children from getting injured should they fall from the treehouse. All this setting carefully hides the underground infrastructure configuration as well as a widespread root system.
At night the house is the only element illuminated, and emerges floating above the courtyard’s entrance.