in west dorset, not far from the jurassic coast, the ‘woodman’s treehouse‘ offers a luxury escape in the middle of the wilderness. set on two floors high in the branches of a veteran oak tree, the dwelling combines sustainable wood craftsmanship and elegant interiors with a playful, yet polished sensibility. a series of varied façades — clad in cleft sweet chestnut log stacks, oak laths and hand cleft oak shingles — encompass a large volume elevated on stilts, offering uninterrupted vistas through the tree canopy, and across the woodland. the timber building draws on diverse architectural and cultural references to create a visually rich and playful construction in a picturesque tradition.
collaboratively designed by guy mallinson and keith brownlie of brownlie ernst and marks, woodman’s treehouse includes a host of special design amenities: a sauna and hot tub on the upper spa deck, a revolving wood burner, an open air tree-shower on a sprawling second deck and a stainless steel slide. where possible, the elevated dwelling has been built using local material. with no impact to the surrounding tree, the design team believed that the oak had grown in response to its environment and should therefore be left alone.
accommodating two adults, the treehouse is entered across a stressed ribbon bridge to the lobby with its stacked log walls contained in heavy oak framing. a scorched oak door, with heavy marine porthole and submarine locking mechanism leads into a small scale lobby. once inside, an internal door accesses a surprising circular core, where guests find a king sized bed, a double ended copper bath, a kitchen, leather club chairs and a rotating fireplace. the bed and bath spaces are set into ‘proscenium’ openings in the rotunda wall, creating a striking scenographic effect with views into and from the rotunda perceived as if they were stage sets. guests can make a playful exit down a one meter wide stainless steel slide that leads to ground level. available to rent at £310 per night, the ‘woodsman’s treehouse’ provides a place to recoup, restore and revive.