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Trees

Phase 1 · Crystal Palace Park

Oxford Brookes School of Architecture · BA Year 2

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park history timeline

ORIGINS

Exploring both the history of the Crystal Palace building and trees, the original inhabitants and essential ingredients of the park.

Sparrowhawks, Ma’am

Full-size elm trees growing in the park were enclosed within the central exhibition hall near the 8m tall Crystal Fountain. Sparrows became a nuisance; shooting was obviously out of the question in a glass building. Queen Victoria mentioned this problem to the Duke of Wellington, who offered the famous solution, “Sparrowhawks, Ma’am”.

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park history collage drawing trees sparrowhawks
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing collage

TREE CLIMBING

While growing up, my father built me a tree-house in our apple tree. Since then my interest in trees has stemmed from the challenge and exploration of a climb.

YEW TREE

Height 8m
Bark Thin and scaly, giving grip to feet but flakes off easily.
Age Unknown, can reach over 2,000 years.
Leaves Dark green, flat and lanceolate. Poisonous.
Seeds 1 per cone, red berry-like arils. Poisonous.

Crystal Palace Yew Tree BranchCrystal Palace Yew Tree Bark DetailCrystal Palace Yew Tree Bark Detail
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park yew tree in resin sample
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park yew tree climbing map drawing

YEW CLIMB MAP

Mapping the points of contact to the tree that my hands and feet make as I climb it. Focusing on the particular form and bark that enables grip – allowing others to follow my path.

TREE TAPPER

A series of limpet like blocks that push into a tree as you climb to act as foot/hand holds. When descending, slowly pull the syringes and the sap is tapped out the hollow spikes – through the tubes and into the syringe for use/analysis.

CLIMB RECORDER

The device is able to capture close up details of hand holds and grips. This combined with knowing the distance of the reach, allows someone to map a potential climbing route.

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climb recorder device
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climb recorder device readings

DEVICE READINGS

3 trees have been discovered within the park. The device readings not only allow the mapping of climbing paths but through analysis of the images, spaces begin to form in and around the 3D bark extrusions.

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park map tree pavilion locations aerial view

Tree Climbing Pavilion

Phase 2 · Crystal Palace Park

Oxford Brookes School of Architecture · BA Year 2

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree pavilion sketch model
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree pavilion sketches

In association with TRADA & Timbmet

SPATIAL MODELS

How can a timber based pavilion wrap around a tree, be dismountable and adaptable to different trees?

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree pavilion sketch model
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree pavilion sketch model
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree pavilion model

Vertical elements create an enclosed space, but they do not allow any vertical movement. Combining vertical and horizontal elements slotted together begins to form platforms and steps, modelled around a 3D tree scan.

18mm birch faced plywood, cut into only 6 sizes, with various slots for different screw free configurations.

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing pavilion plywood model

VERTICAL

The vertical appreciation for the park is being lost with most visitors just going round and round. The pavilion allows the public to flow both into and up the trees, exploring and discovering the vertical.

Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing pavilion blur park life video
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing pavilion night elevation
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing pavilion aerial view in the trees
Theo Jones architecture Crystal Palace Park tree climbing pavilion diagram drawing illustration

SPOTLIGHTS

Vertically exploring trees and climbing paths in the park with a slotted plywood, dismountable pavilion. Encircling the trees discovered by the device. Allowing the public to climb around the trees with adjustable spotlights marking climbable routes.

LOCATION Crystal Palace Park, London

TUTORS David Grindley & Elliott Wingfield

2013-14

© Theo Jones · Creative Commons