BURDEN WOODS TREE HOUSE
LSU AG CENTER
This project was born out of a collaboration between the LSU Ag Center Botanic Gardens, the Burden Horticulture Society, and the Burden Foundation. Didier Design Studio was involved in the early steps of this effort to assist in defining a vision for the tree house project. Responding to the devastating impact of hurricane Gustave destroying nearly half of the tree canopy in Baton Rouge in 2008, growth and regeneration soon became the thread. The new tree house would become a venue to educate the broader community on the reforestation efforts taking place at the Botanic Gardens. Rather than identifying a single large tree and building a tree house in it, we proposed to build a tree house nestled within a surviving stand of trees as a central node to begin to regenerate the forest around. The Trees and Trails Treehouse is a unique educational venue where visitors can experience every level of the forest from floor to canopy. Patrons are taken on a slow rising boardwalk that gently lifts them up above the forest floor. Crossing over a restored wetland, the boardwalk expands to accommodate bench seating for educational demonstrations. The boardwalk terminates at the main deck of the treehouse which opens to a large gathering space that can accommodate activity tables, fixed binoculars and floating nest seat pods.