Beautiful Churches: Tree Church

By The Editors Published on January 3, 2016

Tree Church Interior - 900

The Tree Church in Ohaupo, New Zealand which seats 100 people, is built almost entirely out of living trees. The architect, Barry Cox intended it to be a retreat from society when he first started it in 2011.

Tree Church Top - 900

Cox was inspired by observing churches around the world. “I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’ – and so it began . . . I wanted the roof and the walls to be distinctly different, to highlight the proportions, just like masonry churches.”

Cox was able to complete work on his church in only four years because he transplanted mature trees using a tree spade, a special digging tool that works like an apple corer, extracting trees while preserving their root balls.

He used live cut-leaf alder trees for the roof canopy and copper sheen for the walls, as well as camellia black tie, Norway maple and pyramidal white cedar, training their branches around the frame.

To learn more about the church and its history, click here.

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