When the team designed the house, it had straight walls. But they slowly started abstracting the angles to make it more interesting. “It’s a little bit of a surprise or mystery,” Novy says. “It reinforces the fact that it’s a play structure and nothing too serious. It’s not a home office, and would be a shame to use it as one.”
This is the side of the tree house you see as you’re walking up. Logs run from the ground up through the roof. “That was important to indicate that this is not a normal tree house,” Novy says, “that this is a lot more fun than anything you’ve experienced.”
So the tree house is really more of a “pole house, situated on big logs,” Novy says. A ladder assembly with landings leads to the entryway. A bridge connects to a platform in evergreen trees. “We didn’t want just a standalone structure,” he says. “It had to engage with the trees in some way.”
Rasmussen selected all the materials and did the scribing, coping, forming and fitting of the structure. “You can see how beautifully he put things together,” Novy says. “That’s what’s so exciting about it. It’s got a Hobbit-like fantastical feel with neat angles, but there’s also a focus on wood connections and meticulously crafted openings set in a different way.”
Rafters cantilever slightly over a ceiling beam to expose the angle in the ceiling. Normally the connection would be covered by the beam. This adds to the whimsical effect, giving the ceiling an almost fun-house mirror feel.
A custom wood light fixture hangs over the entry door. The floors are walnut. The rafters are mainly fir. And there are several other types of wood, including white oak, found throughout.
Instead, he prefers to focus on the thrill of getting to complete such an imaginative structure. “Sometimes you get asked, “What would you do if you could do anything?’” Novy says. “Well, this is what we would do.”
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