Treehouse Report

treehouse concept1

sketch of my original concept for a stair tower within a mock, old growth redwood trunk

I still think of the new cabin I’m designing as a treehouse, even though it will be more of a house on stilts nestled in a fairly dense, second growth redwood grove, making no attachment to any tree. My original idea was to camouflage the structure by making the stair tower resemble an old growth trunk, consisting of coopered redwood timbers housing a spiral stair (see above drawing). For practical and economic reasons, we’ve opted instead for an open, timber framed stair tower, more like a fire watch, with more emphasis on the the interior experience of the perched cabin itself.

I’ve enjoyed researching watch towers and houses on stilts, and appreciate my client’s focus and resolve to keep the program as simple as possible. It’s been a wonderful collaboration and we’re close to having a design ready to permit and build. I’m especially thankful to be working with Scott Hunter, Ph. D. P.E., whose design recommendations have added to the minimalist/maximalist ethos of the project.


a classic watch tower


staged climb to a watch tower, with ground shelter


a dwelling tower


nice windows on this hut

beach hut

who doesn’t love a good beach shack?


Heidegger figured it all out in his famous writing hut

2 replies on “Treehouse Report”

  1. Really enjoyed the info and photos re watch towers. There’s one at the North end beach in Brigantine – we should visit it !

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