New Zealander Barry Cox, founder of the tree transplanting specialist service Treelocations, has unveiled a green sanctuary, known as the “Tree Church”, in his hometown in Ohaupo. The idea took root after Cox’s extensive travels took him to churches the world over, and he eventually decided to branch out on his own and create this unique structure. The project began in April 2011 and was finally completed this year, to much fanfare.
Set within extensive and sprawling 12,000-square-metre gardens, the church was created using both living trees and via Treelocations’ specialist “tree transplanting” machine, known as the Tree Spade. Meanwhile, the gardens feature a large canopy area constructed from a military cargo parachute.
The huge site is divided into different areas: a 350-metre labyrinth, extensive gardens, a photography area, the aforementioned canopy area, a parking area and the chapel itself. The Tree Church was built using, among others, cut leaf alder for the roof canopy, copper sheen for the walls and acer, camellia and thuja for the façade.
The Tree Church is open every Sunday and Tuesday for public and private events and has a capacity of 100. This amazing agricultural architectural icon has also, of course, become a major tourist attraction in the area, showing how nature and man can truly interact: a wonderful and stunning piece of work that almost defies description.