The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun

The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun
[Glen Jean, West Virginia] USA
metalocus, INÉS LALUETA
The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun. Photography © Joe Fletcher
In 2013, AIA awards favored projects that showed how to do more, using less. The Boy Scouts of America are becoming more progressive every day. Next year the organisation will introduce a brand-new Sustainability merit badge to replace the outdated Environmental Science badge from 1972. And now, scouts can visit a giant treehouse designed to school them on sustainability using fun installations, from Rube Goldberg-esque recycling machines to light bulb-powering tricycles.

Seattle architecture firm Mithum and San Francisco graphic design firm Volume collaborated on the Corten steel frame structure that makes the scouts part of the story as they climb up through the forest’s canopy.

Description by Mithun

The Sustainability Treehouse, a Living Building Challenge targeted interpretive and gathering facility situated in the forest at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, serves as a unique icon of camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design. Mithun led the integrated design process and a multidisciplinary team to achieve the engaging, high‐performance facility.

The Treehouse provides dynamic educational and gathering spaces for exploring and understanding the site and ecosystem at the levels of ground, tree canopy, and sky. The towering Corten steel frame elevates visitors to more