Shining sun and crystal-clear air: a new day begins in the English town of Edenbridge. Andy Payne examines the crowns of the trees on the property of the family Baskin with an expert eye. The founder of the company Blue Forest is searching for the perfect tree. Because the English company specializes in building a very special type of tree house. The children’s’ classic tree house model normally consists of a few boards nailed together and a rope. But what blue forest builds is better described as a construction project in which an entire host of experts – ranging from architects to carpenters – is involved. When you listen to Andy Payne, it sounds as though searching for a suitable spot for a tree house is not all that complicated: “All that we need to start with is a place where the tree house can exist in harmony with nature – and ideally a thick tree trunk.” The stilts which help to support the heavy constructions take care of the rest and reduce the strain on the trees involved. However, this has its price. These “castles in the air” start at 30,000 euros. And the sky is the limit.
The more exceptional the request, the more exciting the project. “I enjoy the challenge and we always find a way to make our customers’ ideas a reality”, says Marc Storm, architect at Blue Forest. This dedication pays off: with more than 100 projects the English company has now become the world’s leading specialist for treehouses. Alongside constructing treehouses, Blue Forest’s specialties also include constructing EcoLodges. They embody the transformation of the classic wooden hut into a piece of modern architecture. In contrast, EcoPerchs expand on the original tree house concept and aim to integrate even better into the landscape by means of their organic form. They can either be constructed firmly on the ground or high in the trees. EcoPerchs are highly versatile. Some of them serve as a music studio, camping accommodation or ski hut.
Sustainability plays a central role in all Blue Forest projects. The design and construction are selected in such a way that the treehouses merge with their surroundings as harmonious as possible. None of the trees should be damaged or the growth impaired. That is why they are integrated into the construction. The concept has won over a broad customer base. In addition to a loyal core of private customers, Blue Forest’s clients now include an increasing number of companies such as hotels or yoga studios. This gives “ordinary mortals” the opportunity to see the spectacular treehouses from the inside and even spend the night in one.
1. Incredibly romantic: Deer Park Tree House, Devon, England
2. Enchanting: Alton Towers Enchanted Village Tree Houses, Staffordshire, England
3. Top-class comfort: Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire, England
4. Unique experience: ecoPerch Curvy Cabin, Sussex, England
5. Exotic: Tongole Wilderness Lodge, Miombo, Malawi
6. Built on the water: Cleveley Mere Tree House, Lancashire, England
7. Pure luxury: Chewton Glen Tree House Suites, Hampshire, England
Photos: Blue Forest