Chuckanut Tree Office

Peter Frazier has an office in the woods that would make any treehouse enthusiast take notice. The design has glass on three sides and is positioned on a cantilevered deck that looks over the densely forested shores of Chuckanut Bay in Bellingham, Washington.

In Lifehacker, Peter describes his motivation for building this office getaway:

Like many in the computer industry, I graduated from college thin and fit, but since then, through years of all-nighters, sitting in front of my screen for long hours, and a rich diet I became overweight. I went from 190 to 242 pounds as I grew into each role: graphic designer, user interface designer, customer experience researcher, businessperson, husband, father, and community member. Last Fall I said, “Enough already!”

Recently I decided that working standing up would help me live a more active life. It’s worked. Along with meditating, running, hiking, and kayaking, working standing up (with hourly interludes of pushups, situps or yoga) I’ve dropped 30 pounds. My thinking is clearer for longer and you’re more likely to find me with things in perspective.

A few points that I like about his design:

First, although on stilts, this cantilevered deck design works well in trees — especially on steep hillsides like the one pictured. Understandably, mature healthy trees aren’t always available when and where you need them, and when this is the case, I find the stilt method is a good second choice.

Second, Peter has included a minimal style railing around the deck. This steel post and cable design is very good for providing an uninterupted view from inside; however, it has some drawbacks. I’ve had experience with this type of railing, then switched to a traditional solid wood railing, and I can report that the deck feels much larger with the solid wood railing. I think it has something to do with our natural reservation about getting near the edge with the cable type, whereas the solid wood railing allows one to lean right up and experience the whole deck right to the edge with more of a sense of security.

Third, the point Peter makes about ones perspective changing from a treehouse / treeoffice is not to be understated. I believe that ones mental ‘head space’ and ones physical ‘work space’ are interconnected. Changing one creates change in the other, and the space Peter has created seems to me to be awe inspiring to say the least.