The principles

Based on the same philosophy for sourcing of materials and quality of workmanship as my furniture pieces the cabins are sustainably constructed around a highly insulated and energy efficient shell, which is then clad and fitted out with timber sourced from English woodland.The craft and making techniques incorporate the textures and finishes of traditional woodland craft.
The cabins are designed to tread lightly on their site both in terms of their construction and long term impact.

Foundations are installed without excavation or use of concrete and can be removed at a future date if necessary. All component parts are prefabricated for hand assembly on site which reduces construction time and avoids site debris. This approach allows the area beneath and surrounding the building to be largely undisturbed by the construction process.

Treehouse @ The Wood

Many woodlands, including the one in which this treehouse is built, were traditionally managed as ‘coppice and standard’ wherein some trees were grown to maturity for use as timber and others were coppiced to provide wood for a range of underwoodsman crafts such as cleaved lath, woven panels and basket making. This traditional use of timber has inspired the design and making of the treehouse.

Built as a 3m cube it stands elevated above ground on its own ‘coppice’ of Sweet Chestnut tree trunks cut from the surrounding woods.
The shell is constructed from lightweight super insulated panels, clad in cleaved Sweet Chestnut and fitted out with wide board, random width, rippled English Oak floorboards and built in furniture. The internal walls are clad in random width painted Scots Pine wall boarding. All timber was sourced either from within the wood in which the treehouse is built or from nearby woodland.

The treehouse has a built in sofa / bunk beds, bench seating and a wood burning stove. Access is by ladder from below, through a counterweighted hatch.The two main windows both open to connect with the sounds and smells of the woodland in which it sits. There are also smaller windows giving specific framed views, a fold away desk / table and a WW2 field telephone for contact with the main house nearby.

Commissioning a treehouse or cabin

This treehouse was built as a prototype to test the means and methods of construction and has led to the development of a refined system of pre-fabrication for constructing similar types of building.

The options for these are many. The building can either be ground standing or elevated (as the treehouse), constructed as a smaller or larger single volume or as a series of interconnected separate volumes and fitted out with window and door positions and sizes to suit the features of the proposed site. The form of the building is also fully flexible and can be any shape with a flat, pitched or curved roof.

The method of construction has been developed to minimise damage and disruption to the setting and to be easily and quickly assembled on site using hand tools without the need for large or disruptive machinery. The component parts are all manageable by hand and can be delivered by van, Land Rover or tractor and trailer depending on ease of access to the chosen site. This allows the cabins to be built in what might otherwise be inaccessible sites for more conventional forms of construction and is also a more appropriate method of construction for sensitive locations.

In certain circumstances it may be possible to construct as ‘Permitted Development’ without need for Planning Permission.

Please contact me if you’d like to discuss commissioning a treehouse or cabin as I’m happy to help and advise on all aspects from siting, approvals, the development of a brief, through to the design and fitting out details and selection of materials.