Chop Stick: Indiana park's newest whole-tree concession kiosk
December 4, 2012
Even to fans of small buildings and compact architecture, concession stands tend not to stand out from the crowd. The new stand, dubbed Chop Stick, at 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park in Indiana can't fail to be noticed, however; mainly on account of that whole tree poking horizontally through the middle of it. There's a little more to the design than that, thankfully.
The tree in question is a 100-foot (30-meter) Yellow Poplar: Indiana's state tree. Its wood is prized for its fine grain, though it's more commonly put to use in furniture making.
The notable thing about this build is that designer visiondivision has sought to be "respectful" of the tree by putting every part of it to use. The specimen was located and felled from woods near Anderson, some 35 miles away.
So, look carefully at the trunk of the tree which obviously forms the main crossbeam of the stand (and some beam it is too), and you'll notice that large sections of timber have been removed with which to built the actual building's frame, as well as providing the supporting beams for the entire structure and the wood for the seats of the swings that hang from the tree either side of the kiosk.
Bark was stripped from the trunk of the tree, kiln-dried and applied as a natural shingle outer skin for the concession stand.
Leaves and flowers from the tree were pressed to form ornamental decorations embedded into the stand's front windows. Edible Yellow Poplar syrup was made from extracts from the tree to be sold in the stand.
Yellow Poplar isn't typically used for outdoor construction projects, though small, low-cost structures such as this are forcing the redifnition of what is and what is not a viable building material. Though it will be interesting to see how the stand weathers the years, thanks to what appears to be a light ecological footprint, it has very little to prove in respect of longevity.
Chop Stick opened to the public back in June.