One More Thing About That Luxury Treehouse…

Canadian Luxury Treehouse

On Monday I blogged about a Canadian luxury treehouse and was all smiles about the whole thing.  But that’s not the whole truth and it’s been niggling at me ever since.

I wanted to be positive about the project because it’s too easy to focus on the downsides.  Towards the end of that article I wavered.  Should I mention my points of contention, or just pat the Meshers on the back for a job well done and leave it at that?  I chose the latter and now the hounds of opposition just won’t leave me alone, so I will speak for them…

I still commend the Meshers for their obvious respect for nature.  They went way out of their way and out of their budget to consider it and protect it.  The niggly part is the sheer size of this place.

It’s not just that my idea of a treehouse is a relatively small structure and that this doesn’t fit that concept.  It’s deeper than that.  The question is why are treehouses conventionally modest structures?  They tend to be modest both in terms of size and use of materials, often using recycled and reclaimed material.  This modesty is a reflection of a respect for nature that pervades the building process.

The Meshers’ place is absolutely massive and looks totally out of place in its surroundings.  It looks like a university building on a downtown campus.  Hard 90 degree edges, clean straight lines, and huge square footage.  It’s a bit of an eyesore to my wilderness sensibilities.

Construction is a major contributor to pollution and global warming, so the smaller and therefore the less construction, the better this project would have been for the planet.  The Meshers’ house looks like an insane amount of room for two or even twenty people to share.

Again, if you’re going to build something obscenely huge then going the way the Meshers have is the best case scenario.  But ideally the respect for nature begins in the design process itself and recognizes that one of the modern problems we face is too much, too big.  Until we get that under control, we’re going to continue to lose wilderness to our insatiable and over-burdensome demands for more.

Now the hounds can rest.

Image: The Province