|© Dré Wapenaar 1998|
Technisch Buro Cor De Heer
Gertjan and Dré Wapenaar.
The first 3 TREETENTS have been produced for Campsite De Hertshoorn in Garderen in 1998.
Dré Wapenaar in his speech at the International Design Conference,
Aspen Colorado, june 2001:
“The story of my tents as they relate to campsites, however, started with the TREETENTS which were originally designed for the ROAD ALERT GROUP in ENGLAND. This group of activists fight against the excessive constructing of highways through forests. During their protest they cover themselves and hide and live in the trees to fight as long as possible against
the rushing violence of the chain sawers. The TREETENTS would provide a comfortable place for them to stay during their habitation of the forest and prevent the trees from being cut down.
Even though I designed the tents for use by the ROAD ALERT GROUP the project never happened. Before I finished it, a representative from a
campsite saw the drawings of the TREETENTS and convinced me to sell them this project. It was a huge success; and is still in use today.
- They are rented 5 months out of the year. Two adults and two children can sleep on the main floor which is about 9 feet in diameter.
-The form for these tents naturally developed itself, when I hung a circular platform with a rope on the side of a tree. My inspiration for the shape was not the dewdrop.
Form followed function.”
Fieke Konijn in STANDS and TENTS,
published on the occasion of the same exhibition in the Centre of Visual Arts Dordrecht, March 1999 :
“The Tree Tents, of which three have been made to date, were inspired by the Road Alert Group in England. These activists chained themselves to trees which were due to be cut down in the hope of
saving them. Wapenaar set himself the notional commission of designing a tent which would make their vigil among the branches more agreeable. He designed a tent in the form of a water drop, to be suspended high above the ground between two giant trees. There, individuals could comfortably hold out against the superior forces ranged against them for some time. What a fine picture it would make: tents hanging among the leaves and branches like green tears, a sign of mourning. In the absence of giant trees in the Netherlands, the tents hung among the trees of the De Hertshoorn campsite near Garderen in the summer of 1998, where they were intensively used.”
Wilma Sütö in Special Edition City Collection,
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, march/april 2001:
"The panorama in his sketch for the fence is more than a utopia, then. It is a compilation of the tents & stands he has designed over the past ten years and subjected to successful trials: not as a kind of nomad passing through a frontierless no-man's land, but in his own surroundings. His flexible architecture takes up a stand against planned buildings and enriches standardized city centres or recreation parks with a diversity of dissident typologies varying from a Tree Tent in the form of a dewdrop to a Newspaper Kiosk with the silhouette of a communication satellite.
The Tree Tent has since become an attraction on the Hertshoorn camping site near Garderen in the east Netherlands. Placed high up on the tree-trunk, it was originally developed specially for conservationists. Wapenaar wanted to make things easier for activists who chained themselves to trees to prevent the woodland giants from being chopped down. The idea was for demonstrators to nestle close to the treetop, swaying in the wind, out of reach for the arm of the law. The hanging tents still embody this desire to escape gravity. As holiday accommodation they are certainly an alternative to flat-dwellers and long traffic queues."