From Dean Dowd on December 04, 2009 in General Remodel
As a parent, when you tell your children a story or give them a new toy, you never know what’s going to stick and give them a lifetime of inspiration. It appears that having a tree house as a child was all it took for John Harris of England to adopt a lifelong obsession. After founding The TreeHouse Company, Harris designed and built more than 600 unique tree houses around the world, including the largest tree house ever.
The 6,000-square foot tree house reaches a height of 56 feet just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland and belongs to Harris’s client, the Duchess of Northumberland. The house took about four years from conception to completion and features a 120-seat restaurant, 4,000-square feet of extended walkways, classrooms, cafes, turrets and wobbly bridges.
I don’t know about you, but these images conjure up a certain fictional school of witchcraft and wizardry, which ironically sits not too far from the equally magnificent tree house (Alnwick Castle, the castle used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, is actually next door).
The cost of this behemoth arbor-ardent structure? A mere $7 million. The tree house is suspended between 16 lime trees and is a bona-fide solid structure able to accommodate several diners, students, teachers and guests all at once without rocking the boat…or tree.
And then there’s Alnwick Gardens. A large expanse of Scottish land, the gardens were nothing more than a tangled thicket a decade ago. That is, until the Duchess decided to turn it into a beautiful haven for families to come visit and enjoy. Although the gardens themselves were once the highlight of the visit, no doubt the world’s largest tree house has eclipsed the landscaping, which may be why the trust’s web site make virtually no mention of the tree house whatsoever, save to say that you can dine in it.