The concept of building a tree house as a hideaway in and among the clouds has evolved significantly since I was a kid. There are some treehouse concepts that push the envelope aesthetically, and materially. They are sophisticated structures, often sculptural and inspiring. At our house, we support a culture of building. You never know what may show up from the recycling bin in the next creative project. We will be embarking on a new building on our site, occupied by three boys and their daydreams. We’ve been collecting imagery on the inspiration wall in my office to fuel the boys creative energy. Will it be suspended up in the treetops, or be planted firmly on the ground? Either way, it’s bound to be a lot of fun. Watching the boys develop their ideas on sketch up, building models, and exploring boundaries, both physical and of their imagination, are life’s lessons bound in a pile of twigs. Not being afraid to test an idea, understanding the gift of failure and embracing the collaborative process, are what will make this retreat their own.
Posted by Cynthia | Filed under Musings
A Place of My Own,The Architecture of Daydreams, is an insightful book by author Michael Pollen. I am familiar with his well known publications The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense Of Food, Food Rules, The Botany of Desire and Second Nature. His first book, A Place Of My Own, has recently been rereleased. I enjoyed this compelling story of process about the design and construction of a one room structure on his rural Connecticut property. This place was imagined for reading, writing and daydreaming, and was to be built with his own “two unhandy hands”. Being a writer and researcher, he shares his self directed education as he engages in the study of Architectural history, design theory, literature and philosophy, "from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of “houseness” itself." He investigates the patterns of behavior that shape our environments and becomes an active participant in the design of this Imagined place with his Architect, Charlie. I especially enjoyed this aspect of the book; the element of discovery present as we travel with him on the path of his process. There is a very real awakening to the experience of a place and his defined priorities and program. "…I began to see that the real subject of these pictures was not architectural ideas or styles so much as architectural experiences. Each picture evoked what a particular kind of place or space felt like, they were poetic that way, and it was the sensual nature of each experience, more than any purely visulal or aesthetic details, that Charlie meant to call my attention to". He comes to realize he will not only shape this environment, but it will shape him as well.