Yggdrasil, playfully reimagined

In Norse mythology, Ratatosk is the messenger squirrel that runs up and down Yggdrasil, the tree of life. Developed for the “1:1” exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, this project is our way of reliving – and reflecting on – our childhood love of climbing trees – of being one with nature, deep in the woods.

We decided to make a small wooden pavilion that was suitable for children to climb. Pollarded ash trees, with their short, hollow trunks and strong branches, were found to be ideal for this purpose. First, we dug up the trees together with their roots and split them in two. Then, they were scanned and 3D modelled to enable us to digitally manipulate and transform them into a workable design.

The process left us with a “folly” that is essentially a ring of trees, connected in a way that eliminates the need for additional structural support. The inside of the trees is uniformly polished, while the outside is left raw. The roof is woven from the sliced branches and the sawdust is used as falling protection. All parts of the tree are reused and transformed into an airy and open wooden gestalt that longs to be climbed.


Helen&Hard Reinhard Kropf, Siv Helene Stangeland, Dag Strass, Caleb Reed, Elliet Spring
Timber Engineering Création Holz, Hermann Blumer

Dag Strass

Senior Architect

Reach out to Dag to learn more about the project.

(+47) 406 406 79