The base was built off-site. The platform rings were created by laminating and bending pieces of marine plywood. Vertical Cedar uprights were keyed into the ring to create a vertical structure.
The interior was left unfinished to show the beautiful timber structure, which is as intricate as the inside of a traditionally built boat. It gives the impression of being inside a hollowed out tree trunk.
A ship’s ladder provides access to the second floor deck.
Zen with a View: Whether the homeowners are practicing yoga on the floor or sitting in a chair, there is always a panoramic view of the park-like, riverside property.
For safety, panes of tempered glass are sandwiched between lumber, giving the impression that the glass floats above the deck. This encloses the upper floor without impeding the view.
The back wall of the “tree” is wrapped in Willow bark shingles. The outer walls of the tree house on the second floor are covered in zinc shingles, creating a rustic, yet modern structure.
Left: Detail of how the house structure emerges from the tree "trunk." Right: The tree "embraces" the treehouse, supporting the second floor platform.
Designed to provide a play space for grandchildren and a quiet sanctuary for the homeowners, this modern take on a tree house needed to match the style of the home while blending into the environment.
New construction; Wrightstown, Wisconsin. Modern Home, Modern Treehouse: The design of the tree house reflects the design of the existing home on the left, while the unfinished interior gives the impression of the inside of a hollowed out tree.
"Truly a WOW project — extremely creative, not only from a design standpoint, but also wonderfully creative use of materials. Just love this project — every detail from start to finish is perfect!!!"
2018 NARI Milwaukee RotY Judge
2020 NARI National Contractor of the Year Winner for Residential Detached Structure, new construction; Wrightstown, Wisconsin: From concept to reality, this complex project was a multifaceted challenge. This modern take on a tree house needed to match the style of the home that sits nearby, while blending into the natural setting. It was designed to provide a play space for visiting grandchildren and a quiet sanctuary with a view of the river for the homeowners. It would need to withstand the weather, specifically westerly winds.
A tree was chosen in a wooded area not far from the house. The tree house platform had just been built when a record-breaking tornado in 2017 destroyed it and the tree. A year later, the homeowner still dreamed of a tree house. Other locations were considered, but the first location was the best . The solution was to create a structure that emulated the form of the tree while reflecting the modernity of the home.
The finished project defies expectations — of a child’s tree house, of modern architecture and a nature retreat. Whether the homeowners are practicing yoga on the floor or sitting in a chair, there is always a panoramic view of the park-like, riverside property. For the children, the possibilities are endless — the tree house could be a boat on the high seas, a frontier fort or a space ship bound for Mars. The design encourages the imagination at any age.