© Bob Gramsma

© Bob Gramsma

singular level OI#490, 2004

Robinia-/larch wood, variable dimensions, total height ca. 1500 cm

In the course of the merging of the Zurich Hochschule and Fachhochschule, the central new building of the ZHAW in Winterthur was inaugurated. Gramsma juxtaposed the massive seeming building by the architecture firm Burkard Meyer Architekten with a filigree construction: with their 15 meters, the supports of the tree-house tower up to the edge of the building’s roof. A platform is mounted at the height of the fifth story.

The Kunstgiesserei ensured that the shaky looking structure met the highest safety standards. The tree trunks are embedded 1.5 meters deep in cement pipes that are filled up with a ballast bed in order to keep out moisture. Birch tree trunks were originally foreseen as supporting columns; they were, however, unsuitable because they rot too easily. A decision was instead made for weather-resistant Robinia trunks; they come from the Sittertal. The platform is made of larch wood. The Kunstgiesserei guarantees the annual maintenance of the screws via a service contract.