Alice Min Soo Chun, Tim McDonald
Jill Desimini, Roman Torres, Christian Munoz, Gaeta Shaw, Kelly Yates, Ali Fazio, Sierra Bainbridge, Chris Rubino, Julia Murphy, Tom Meyers, Ebbie Wisecarver, and Jessica Penzel.
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Parks and Recreation of Havertown, PA
The Tree Theater is an ADA-compliant play structure for a park in suburban Havertown, Pennsylvania. Tim Denny, the director of community parks in Havertown, PA, came to Alice Chun and Tim McDonald with the hope of creating a place where children with disabilities could experience, one of the most awe inspiring childhood spaces, (for most of us) “being up high,..in the trees”... “having that fantastic feeling of fear and excitment, all at the same time. Why should a child in a wheelchair, be deprived of that wonder....”
The structure was designed and built over the course of a seven week studio that Chun and McDonald led at the University of Pennsylvania. The students developed a rough plan during the first week of the studio, then headed to the site, where most of the real design work took place. “One of the premises of doing this design-build studio is the idea that the imagination doesn’t stop at the drawing table and therefore design on paper is by nature incomplete,” McDonald said.
The student designers for the project were Jill Desimini, Roman Torres, Christian Munoz, Gaeta Shaw, Kelly Yates, Ali Fazio, Sierra Bainbridge, Chris Rubino, Julia Murphy, Tom Meyers, Ebbie Wisecarver, and Jessica Penzel.