Treehouse installed in Israel Museum playground by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

Architects Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski have built a slatted wooden structure around an old pine tree to update a courtyard space at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (+ slideshow).

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

Situated at the entrance of the Israel Museum's Youth Wing for Art Education, the IMJ Tree House provides a gathering point for both adult and children visitors.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

"As a tribute to the childhood collective memory of a treehouse, we positioned a small roofed structure where children can hide and overlook at high up a tilted trunk raised above the meticulous surroundings of the museum," said the architects.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

The treehouse is made up of two-centimetre-thick hardwood boards fixed onto a steel skeleton – contrasting with its concrete and stone architectural surroundings.

A decked platform creates a seating area around the outside of the playground before ramping up to provide access to the treehouse. Children can also enter and exit the structure via a metal pole with foot pegs.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

A hole in the treehouse floor accommodates the pine trunk, and provides another surface to clamber up.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

An undulating ground topography surrounds the building. It is covered with a soft EPDM rubber surface – the same material used by Simon Conder Associates to cover a beach house on the English coast.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

"The rubber surface hides the underground infrastructure configuration, as well as a widespread root system from the pine tree," said the architects.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

At night, the treehouse is the only area of the playground to be illuminated.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski

Other unusual treehouse designs includes a pair of woodland hideaways inspired by snakes, and a stilted holiday home overlooking the Sri Lankan jungle.

Photography is by Amit Geron.

IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski
Concept diagram one – click for larger image
IMJ tree house by Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski
Concept diagram two – click for larger image