Patrick Dougherty is a builder and yet not an architect – he is perhaps best described as an artist and sculptor, a wood craftsman the likes of which most of us have never seen. Rather than cutting, planing, leveling and assembling rectilinear wood structures he shapes living trees into amazing natural tree buildings.
What started as simple arbosculptures quickly become inhabitable spaces and entire built environments. Some of the results seem like churches or gazebos, religious or resting places deep in the forest, as shown in the pictures above. Others are more abstract and open for interpretation or mixed-use occupation, changing with seasonal conditions as shown below.
Always temporary by necessity, he grows and shapes the constituent sapplings to create playful and interactive forms in all kinds of contexts (with over 150 installations worldwide to date). Some of his shaped tree structures interact with surrounding built forms but many of his most interesting and engaging work stands alone in fields or forests.
One of the most impressive parts of his tree building constructions is the way he works with surrounding natural shapes, colors and seasonal environments. His structures can on a completely different character depending upon the time of year and weather that informs them – as shown in the images of an incredible series of tree-formed buildings above.