- Treetop Walkway at the National Arboretum in Westonbirt
Getting up close and personal with tall treetops: a dream come true at the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, UK, and the best thing is you don't have to be Italo Calvino's “Baron in the Trees” or a modern Tarzan to do it, thanks to the design by Glenn Howells Architects.
Robert Holford, the rich early landowner of this historic, Victorian picturesque landscape began planting in the 1850s and it now has 15,000 labelled trees (around 2500 different types) covering 240 hectares, and more than 27 kms of accessible paths, plus - from 27 April - the Treetop Walkway.
The design by Glenn Howells Architects with engineers Buro Happold is based on a careful study of the best observation points. They used advanced computational parametric principles and construction materials to complement the surroundings for a 300 metres long walkway that rises up to 13 metres from the ground, resting on timber legs that have been positioned equidistant to each other. The structure and the steel balustrade follow the sinuous movement of nature and reduces the impact on the surroundings, without sacrificing stability and safety.
The Treetop Walkway was funded by The Friends of the Westonbirt Arboretum and Germany-based company Stihl as a new tourist attraction as well as for better use and better understanding of the trees. All of this is thanks to the sustainable architecture design closely engaging with nature.
Project: Glenn Howells Architects
Location: Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, UK
Images: © Rob Parrish, courtesy of carocommunications
For further information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt