Posted: September 1, 2017 | Projects
No matter what your age, the concept of a treehouse instills excitement and a sense of adventure. For many, it hearkens back to the magical days of our youth, when hideouts were cleverly concealed in plain view high in the canopy of the treetops. Others harbor latent romantic notions of living like the Swiss Family Robinson. For us all, living high elicits a natural high inspired by the incredible views of a vantage point far above the ground.
Grand Vue Park recognized the popularity of their existing zip line and the potential of their property, and selected Omni Associates Architects to assist with a master plan that would further develop the concept of an adventure park.
In addition to the adventure attractions designed for the park, there was a need for additional lodging. Hotel-style lodging and expansion of their current number of cabins were both discussed. The design team focused on the cabins, and with the adventure park theme, recommended building treehouses in order to take advantage of the many hilltop ridge lines within the park where a standard cabin couldn’t be constructed.
But the Park didn’t want a rustic, off-the-grid, independent-spirit type of living that a classic treehouse entails. The desired look and feel was that of a modern cabin with luxury amenities offering a stimulating experience of living in opulence among the treetops.
And so the design team developed a plan for one- and two-bedroom treehouses with a luxury feel. They made sure they met accessibility requirements, could be constructed at multiple locations on steep sloping hillsides and, most importantly, could be economically constructed to be profitable for the park.
Support of a treehouse utilizing an actual tree is a viable option only if each treehouse is designed to fit a specific tree. With multiple treehouses of the same configuration, the treetop villa concept was established to provide the look and feel of a treehouse – but with independent support.
A simple straightforward wood postand- beam construction for the villa was selected for economy, while maintaining the desired look and feel of a treehouse.
The structural support elevating the villas needed to have minimal impact to the site – touching the ground only where necessary in order to allow the flora and fauna to continue to thrive.
The original concept for the structure was to be more “tree like,” with heavy timber supports mimicking the trees on the hillside. But from an economic standpoint, steel supports were eventually utilized and accentuated as a design element of their own.
To minimize the impact of the structure on the view, the design team focused on the 16 Design Cost Data/September-October 2017 use of tension members wherever possible, allowing the decks to be suspended with steel cable from cantilevered beams. Vertical stainless steel cables for balusters minimize the impact on the view. Every aspect of the interiors portrays luxury. Large glass walls in the living areas capitalize on breathtaking views and natural light fills every room.
This is only the beginning for the Park. They intend to add more treetop villas nestled atop trees – where living high brings a natural high.
Omni Associates Architects, Inc.
207 Jefferson Street, Fairmont, WV 26554
Barber & Hoffman, Inc.
215 Executive Drive, #202, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
52 B Street, Saint Albans, WV 25177
Colaianni Construction, Inc.
2141 State Route 150, Dillonvale, OH 43917
Blundall Associates, Inc.
9602 Coldwater Road, #204, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
409 Jacobson Drive, Poca, WV 25159
Location: Moundsville, West Virginia
Date Bid: Feb 2016
Construction Period: Mar 2016 to Oct 2016
Total Square Feet: 3,034
Number of Buildings: Four; 2 one bedroom, 2 two bedroom.
Building Sizes: 2 single-story one bedroom, 625 each; 2 single-story two bedroom, 892 each; total, 3,034 square feet.
Building Height: 2 one bedroom, 13’; 2 two bedroom, 13’;total, 26'+/-.
Basic Construction Type: New/2B.
Foundation: Concrete caissons.
Exterior Walls: Fiber cement over rainscreen on wood framing.
Roof: Metal, standing seam metal over SIPS.
Floors: Wood, steel floor structure.
Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.