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Out on a Limb

by Jacob Resneck in Design on 21 August 2009

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Nestled in the wilds of the 92-acre Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, a new exhibit blends education, entertainment and lessons in environmental sustainability. Called Out on a Limb, it consists of a 450-foot walkway that takes visitors five stories high view from inside the forest canopy.

At the center of this spectacle is a 250-year-old Chestnut Oak whose trunk and root structure remain literally untouched by the innovative design from Metcalfe Architecture & Design.

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outonalimb.jpg

Made from recycled wood and metal, it's a lightweight structure that can be disassembled and reassembled in places to move with the ebb and flow of the forest's natural growth. Lumber from the walkway was milled from locally felled back locust—the same that's currently used in New York City's park benches—as it doesn't require chemical treatment to resist rot.

The exhibit only opened last month and is designed for children and adults alike. It's located in the leafy Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Morris Arboretum
100 East Northwestern Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118 map
tel. +1 215 247 5777

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