Name: Anne Hebert
Location: North University — Austin, Texas
My parents wanted to create a special tree house for their grandchildren while staying true to the style of their late 1930's Modern/Prairie-style house. They found the perfect spot and tree, but wanted to build something that wouldn't be attached to the tree.
This led to some creative engineering and design by the boys' father, local designer/builder Garland Turner of WoodEye Construction & Design. The treehouse is entirely supported by its steel staircase, attached to a submerged 6'x6'x6' block of concrete. Welded angle-iron, steel tubing and untreated wood (angelim) slats comprise the structure. The stair treads incorporate slots that double as handholds in place of a handrail, and the boys can safely open the counter-balanced trap door by spinning a modified trailer tongue lift. No fingers lost yet!
The boys use the space year-round and have decorated it with their own paintings. They have yet to host a sleepover in it, but that's coming soon; we're lobbying for Grandpa to be the one to sleep up there with them.
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(Images: Anne Hebert)