As the weather turns, the time that I spend outside is inversely proportional to the time I spent dormant inside due to the frigid temperatures. I am creature of the outdoors, always have been. And my affinity for nature was bound to cross paths with my (at most times) outlandish creativity, especially when it came to constructing things of the physical nature.
It began with a tree house I built myself in the back yard of my parents home on the outskirts of Philadelphia by taking old 2 x 4’s and nailing them to an old maple tree in our back yard to fashion a ladder. The tree itself had a perfect perch for me and my friends and needed very little upgrading for a summer of mischief.
Things got interesting when I convinced my father to help me build a zip line from a neighboring tree to connect it to the perfect perch I had found. Though blamed for multiple injuries and trips to the hospital, this zip line served us well for over a decade until it was decommissioned in our teenage years, probably for the best.
As I entered architecture school, I was continuously reverting back to dwellings and structures built in nature. It became a great source of precedent. No matter the design problem, there was always a take away in the evolution of how the human species connected to nature. This had always been one of the truest forms of balance in my eyes; each constructed element is an outsider to the vast landscape with which it cohabitates. I was drawn to how something man-made could coexist, compliment, or even disrupt these environments.
So, I thought I would share some of my findings over the years.
The Original inspiration - The Lost Boys Tree House
House in Villa Val Switzerland: https://www.archdaily.com/43187/villa-vals-search-cma
Tree Pods in the Pacific Northwest: https://inhabitat.com/retreat-to-an-ewok-eco-spheres-in-trees/
Embryo Tree House by Antony Gibbon
Worlds Tallest Tree House in Crossville, Tennessee
Tree Hotel in Sweden: https://design-milk.com/stargaze-sleep-snohettas-7th-room-treehotel/
The connection we establish with remote and untouched areas of the earth fascinated me as a child and always will. I will always design with nature in my mind. My aesthetic has certainly evolved from the 2 x 4 tree house, but rest assured, the original roots are still there.