A treehouse might come across as a childish dream home for most but nowadays, even adults are getting down, or rather up and dirty with the creation of these “floating” pads. Take the creative mind of the person behind the world’s largest treehouse who, combined with the brains and brawns of his team, came up with a treehouse that puts the T, in not only Tree but giganTic as well.
Mention the word “tree-house” and your mind conjures up images of a small boxy house usually constructed out of discarded wooden planks and tiles up on a sturdy tree. These treehouses are usually equipped with a few things like a few small chairs and maybe a little television or radio for entertainment purposes; throw in some cushions and a carpet to create a more homely feel. Due to the small capacity, these treehouses can only accommodate a few people at a time.
Now imagine a tree house that houses classrooms, conference rooms, cafes, turrets and even a restaurant that can seat up to 120 people and serves tasty local dishes made with ingredients from the local farms. This treehouse is in fact real. Located on the grounds of Alnwick Gardens and right next to Alnwick Castle, the very one used in Harry Potter films, the enormous tree house covers an area of 6, 000 square feet and spans up to 56 feet in height. A treehouse this huge can’t possibly be suspended by only one tree; 16 lime trees hold up this amazing creation that also comes with 4, 000 square feet of suspended walkways that connects the main treehouse from its towers and smaller rooms.
Having had a treehouse as a kid, John Harris of England grew up with major interests in tree houses. Harris still has fond memories of his first treehouse that his father had built from a pallet and packing case. His obsession with these woody wonders did not stop at honeymooning in a treehouse in Malaysia. Harris founded The TreeHouse Company and has since gone on to designing and creating over 600 tree houses, all different and unique in their own ways. His most spectacular creation thus far? This very treehouse that happens to be the world’s largest ever. With the help of his craftsmen, tree surveyors and designers – who all happen to be just as crazy about treehouses as he is – Harris embarked on the 4-year project before unveiling the treehouse in 2005.
Constructing the treehouse certainly incurred a pretty hefty cost – a grand total of approximately 3.5 million pounds! Everything is wooden and the materials that go into the construction of the treehouse, of course, had to be amongst the best thus the range of wood used, from Canadian Pine to Scandinavian Redwood, were imported from various timber and hardwood suppliers around the world.
The treehouse was in fact built with instructions from Harris’ client, the Duchess of Northumberland, who aimed to transform the Alnwick Garden into a tourist destination where people can gather to relax, play, learn and basically have a ball of a time. The Alnwick Garden is now the third most popular garden in England, and most credits would go to its main attraction, the world’s largest and did I mention most expensive treehouse, with its price tag of 7 million pounds.