Architect Builds Extraordinary Tree House In The Oregon Forest

by • April 27, 2011 • Architecture, DesignComments (0)4851

If there’s one role for an architect in today’s world it’s to show us that we don’t have to follow the rules.  Our homes are machines to make our lives richer and more enjoyable, and to help us along in our pursuit of happiness (it’s no wonder so many people out there are miserable — just look at how conformist and boring their homes are).  Robert Harvey Oshatz is an Oregon architect who conforms to nothing — he’s breaking rules and creating some truly extraordinary designs in the process, including this tree house design for a client in Portland which he designed in 1997 and completed constuction of in 2004.  The Wilkinson Residence makes a stunning addition to its forest site as it blends into the tree canopy and its natural environment with a celebratory ease.  Here’s an abstract from the architect himself:

“A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. This house evades the mechanics of the camera; it is difficult to capture the way the interior space flows seamlessly through to the exterior. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. One example is a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room.”

The site area is 23,680 sq. ft with the home itself measuring 5,162 sq. ft.  Although I’m not a huge fan of the interior or the motifed cantilevered exterior beams, I have to give Robert major props for creating a truly sensational and dramatic contribution to forests of Oregon (the first photo is my favorite in the way it evokes a design sensibility similar to Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Chapel, easily one of the top three most important buildings in the history of modern architecture).  One of my favorite aspects of architecture is how easily and quickly a strong design can start to cross-pollinate neighboring designs,  a sort of “spreading of architectural DNA” from one place to another.  In much the same way as a tree casts its seeds in the wind, perhaps Oshatz’s design will sprout some of its own offspring in the surrounding forests of Oregon.  To learn more about Robert’s work be sure to visit his website at

Source: Think Outside The Box on Facebook

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