When I started this project I never thought it would take so long. Mind you I didn’t imagine that I’d decide to teach myself how to make oak shakes and build a tree-manor rather than a mere treehouse.
But it’s fast turning into somewhereI really like to be – just standing, looking out at the trees, listening to the birds. But I do wonder, when the walls are done and the space enclosed, whether I will have lost something? I’ve included lots of openings for looking outside but I’m afraid shutting out the wind means shutting out the noise and losing some of the sensation of being surrounded by nature.
The answer is probably to have as many of the windowns openable as possible. However that’s not all that easy. Making windows is quite a skill and finding small wooden windows, off the shelf and at an affordable price is proving difficult.
Like most things with the treehouse it’ll probably be a case of experimentation. It’ll be a bit rough and ready but rough and ready is, to some extent, what gives our traditional buildings their character. Modern builders can produce perfectly square, perfectly constructed houses but they’re perfectly sterile and inhuman as well.
A couple of weeks ago I helped organise an event at which an outfit called wildlife splash set up a green oak frame. It was quite something. If we want to build places in which people want to live we could do worse than to look at the way our forebears made things. They’ve lasted for centuries and are cherished more with every passing year. Technology has brought us some truly astonishing benefits but few things have replaced our need to be surrounded by things that bear a human touch. One need not exclude the other but all too often the human is excluded in the name of profit or efficiency and by losing the human dimension we sacrifice one of the most imporant facets of sustainability.