ALBERTA

Treehouses Planned For Edmonton's Churchill Square (PHOTOS)

02/21/2014 02:36 EST | Updated 02/21/2014 03:59 EST

Look up, look way up, Edmonton – treehouses may be coming to the downtown core this summer.

Three miniature houses are planned for Churchill Square as part of the Edmonton Arts Council's (EAC) transitory public art program and designed by Threshold Collective, an art group run by University of Alberta design students and staff.

The project, titled "Impose", is designed to get people talking about living spaces, Jesse Sherburne, a U of A instructor and project participant, told the Edmonton Journal.

“The tree houses are looking to generate a bit of dialogue about urban environment and shared public space versus private, with an almost voyeuristic gaze. They represent a number of aesthetics we’d recognize in our communities," he said, adding the houses will be scaled-down versions of real houses in Edmonton neighbourhoods.

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Treehouses In Downtown Edmonton

Danielle Soneff, one of the students working on the project, told Metro Edmonton their group chose Churchill Square because it is a central gathering spot for Edmontonians.

“Our collective is called threshold, so we were really exploring this idea about people’s relationship with their public spaces,” she said, adding she hopes the project will encourage artists to "work for the collective good of the city."

Katherine Kerr, director of public art with the EAC, told Huffington Post Alberta that transitory art projects like "Impose" hold a certain mystery and allure that permanent art installations may not have.

"Public art, in general, is built to last, but transitory art is almost like an event, where people may not know how long it will be around or how long it will last."

Previous transitory art projects in Edmonton include last year's "Ramble in the Bramble," where people could stumble across art while walking through the trees and shrubs of Edmonton's River Valley.

Those with dreams of a downtown sleepover, however, will have to come to terms with the fact the miniature houses are just art and there will be no ladders or ropes to climb up and get inside.

According to the Journal, the tallest house will stand almost 2.5 metres, not counting the height of the tree in which it will be built.

Treehouses have captured the imagination of people worldwide, with people going out on a limb to stay in tree-top hotels and build their homes high above the ground.

If the group secures the proper permits, the houses will likely go up in May, reports Metro.

She said the EAC was so impressed the "Impose" group's pitch and idea that they are considering extending the exhibit's stay in Churchill Square past the previously decided 30 days.