Indian Hill Treehouse

  • plans - upper levels
  • plans - lower levels
  • plans - roof
  • elevation
Program: Elevated platform(s), ladder, and zipline.
Project Brief: Design a treehouse for three children in a dead tree.
Concept: A structure based upon the geometry of the tree itself, capped by a roof that protects the tree — fun, durable, and elegant.

A treehouse whose playful form comes from the tree it inhabits.

This sculptural treehouse was designed for clients with three children. It inhabits a dead tree in the house's side yard, clearly visible from the main entry. It therefore had to be not only safe and fun, but also aesthetically pleasing.

The structure is both pragmatic and organic: it is easily buildable based upon existing conditions, yet is playful and dynamic. Wedge-shaped platforms span between and jut beyond the splayed trunks, taking full advantage of (rather than resisting) the complex form of the tree.

Safety and durability were of primary concern. The tree was effectively dead — its limbs had been sawn off prior to this design. To protect and stabilize the tree, the roof canopy covers the sawn-off branches and steel cables tie the limbs together, making it act as a single element. The railings are braced diagonally for added strength — a strategy that enhances safety as well as the dynamic aesthetic.

copyright © 2013 by carl s. sterner, unless otherwise noted. more...