A Path in the Forest: Tree Top Walk Creates Awesome Forest Experience

A Path in the Forest; credit: Reio Avaste

A Path in the Forest is an incredibly beautiful and elegant installation making its way through the trees up to the sun in a park in the heart of the city of Tallinn, Estonia. It was created by Tetsuo Kondo Architects, a Japanese firm, as part of the urban installation festival LIFT11. The festival was one of the activities offered by the City for European Capital of Culture in 2011. A set of artistic, architectural, and landscape design projects was put together to enrich the surrounding environment and create new experiences for citizens. The company presented a similar spiral path at Architecture Biennale in Venice, but this iteration is slightly different. The Estonian walk takes the visitor through an indoor cloud artificially created from three layers of air pumped into the space. The architectural studio puts the human common perception of the surroundings under question.

A Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo Architects

A Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo Architects

What is LIFT11 LIFT11 is a festival featuring 11 urban installations. They are selected through a design competition, which Kondo won.  The studio was invited to create the path. The 95-meter-long walkway is situated in a beautiful forest known as Kadriorg. Trees have grown there for more than three centuries, making it a majestic landscape. The elevated path was crafted from 139-millimeter steel pipe and a thin steel sheet that weaved among the trees, ultimately not using a single column.
A Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo Architects

A Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo Architects

This design of the tree top walk detail gives visitors the opportunity to see the forest from another perspective. Instead of looking from the ground up, the path takes the viewer amidst the overstory of the tree canopy. Undoubtedly, a pleasurable experience! It is an invitation for humans to investigate further, to feel something new, to examine nature in a different way. It is truly a harmonious project between nature and structure, in the sense of its creation and shape. The installation doesn’t stand for itself, as a piece of art, but instead elegantly underlines the natural beauty. Despite its charm and success, the installation was temporary for the festival. But it is an inspiring example that can be repeated or reinvented, a fine solution that provides a way to give identity to an urban park, to make it more attractive for curious citizens. Boomkroonpad: Tree Top Walk 

A Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo ArchitectsA Path in the Forest; credit: Tetsuo Kondo Architects

The idea of a tree top walk above the forest is actually not new. “The treetop” Boomkroonpad is a tourist attraction and part of an educational theme park in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Visitors can walk a 125-meter-long trail above the treetops and climb spiral staircases in order to experience incredible panoramic views. Nevertheless, these projects have a common ground: gaining knowledge. The call is for new experiences, for breaking the patterns, for reinventing the surroundings to make them better, and for adding new value. The designer said it best: “It is a piece of architecture which exists for the woods as the forest exists for the architecture. We cannot change the form of the forest, but we think the various elements in a forest can become one entity in this condition. “I hope that we can experience a forest, architecture, and an environment which we do not know yet.” Have you encountered similar walks high in the trees? Article written by Slavyana Popcheva  Featured image : A Path in the Forest; credit: Reio Avaste all other images courtesy of  Tetsuo Kondo Architects

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