Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

The tree house at Melbourne Girls Grammar School junior campus has elements of the archetypal tree house – an elevated enclosed space within the tree canopy of a mature English Oak, and windows from which to view the world below. But it departs from this script to meet functional challenges presented by the project brief.

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Andrew Lloyd

Firstly, the tree house was required to provide opportunities for outdoor learning, and was envisioned as much as a class room as a playground. The school also wanted the enclosure of a tree house combined with a good level of surveillance. And the health of the much-loved tree was paramount.

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Andrew Lloyd

Design responses to these specific requirements started with the three dimensional mapping of the tree, allowing the design of a structure that nestles as close as possible to the tree without damaging it or requiring it to be pruned. The tree house is structurally supported wholly by a deck cantilevered over the roots. The structure itself comprises an amphitheatre and stage that morphs into a staircase leading to the elevated enclosed platform. The enclosure is created by a semi-transparent and very tactile dowel screen (inspired by the texture of the tree trunk). Underneath the platform, another sheltered space is created with chalk-board walls that allow students to decorate and alter the space.

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

Tree House | Melbourne Australia | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

IMAGE CREDIT | Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

Project: Melbourne Girls Grammar School Tree House

Designer: Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture

Client: Melbourne Girls Grammar School

Location: MGGS Morris Hall Campus, Caroline Street, South Yarra

Construction cost: A$50,000

Photographs: FFLA and Andrew Lloyd

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