o utldiovoin r g
Left, Boo’s Treehouse
in Seattle, Washington,
provides a haven
for a teenage girl.
on a limb
By Steve Fisher
FOR MOST PEOPLE,
“treehouse” conjures up
idyllic childhood memories of
playing in the backyard. While
many of those people have grown up,
they might not have outgrown their treehouse fantasies. And some of them have
taken the architectural concept to new heights.
All over the world, people are building functional treehouses for use as offices, studios, dens,
guest rooms and even resorts. They are extensions
of the home—a backyard oasis for contemplation
and relaxation—or a place to get down to business.
The concept is gaining traction as the science of construction is gaining acceptance. Books and Web sites
offer advice and information, and numerous companies are available to assess individual needs and provide the necessary design and construction work.
TreeHouse Workshop in Seattle, for example,
owned and operated by Costco members Jake Jacob
and Pete Nelson, has built more than 100 structures
of varying sizes and uses throughout the United
States. Prices for the structures run from $500 to
$500,000; sizes range from 40 to more than 1,600
square feet. Designs can be as simple as a one-room
cabin or as complex as the client’s imagination permits. Some of their houses in trees feature lofts and
cupolas, and are accessed by suspension bridges
reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie.