I think everyone has wondered about doing it at some point in their life but for Chambers Flat man, Ant Aitken, that wondering stopped in 2015 when he decided to put all of his spare time, money and energy into building a treehouse that he could live in.
Ant’s dream of building a treehouse came to a head while sitting in the office of a music promoter in Perth. “I’d been doing advanced logistics for international touring bands around Australia for several years but I just couldn’t shake the need to give this treehouse thing a go.” Ant said.
So with some basic carpentry skills, a naïve optimism, and a few crazy mates he managed to rope in along the way, Ant experimented with design and engineering approaches.
“There’s a lot of science that goes into building treehouses. A tree is your host. They are a dynamic living breathing organism. On their backs you climb. In their life is yours. Treehouse builders try to be symbiotic with the tree, rather than parasitic. They care for and value the trees.”
Building a treehouse comes with plenty of challenges. From choosing the tree to engineering the platform and choosing your structure. Each piece of the process needs to thought through and designed from scratch. There are no two trees the same so everything needs to be custom made to suit your tree and surroundings. Anthony went with one of the more difficult design structures choosing to create a geodesic dome. And if the design and engineering challenges weren’t enough, Cyclone Debbie threw in a new challenge by bringing the normally dry backyard creek above his original platform height.
Ant’s treehouse currently consists of a bedroom/living space in the upper section and a mid-deck which will include his kitchen and dinning area. The mid-deck will also have a new section added for a bathroom deck coming off to one side.
“I’ve come to understand, that treehouses are truly universal. Every kid, in every culture has an idea of treehouses or cubby houses. That feeling when you climb into a tree and perch aloft in its canopy is something you want to make more accessible for you and your friends to enjoy.” Ant said.
Ant’s love of trees isn’t just for the living ones standing tall around us. He’s also started New Earth Timbers to help people repurpose fallen trees by creating and selling timber slabs and other rustic timber features.