The Growing Trend of Treehouses and the Curiosity of Outdoor Spaces

There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the way we use our spaces. With most of us spending an increased amount of time indoors, the need to connect with the outside world became more of a priority, with many turning to the garden seeking additional space. As a result, the want and need for a retreat in the great outdoors has never been so prevalent.

Treehouses are a great way to achieve this, creating small spaces that connect us to the outdoors and provide the perfect nature retreat. As a non-conventional concept that at first sight can take you by surprise, treehouses bring a sense of adventure and play that both adults and children can enjoy.  

The novelty of a treehouse folly isn’t anything new. The treehouse on the Pitchford Estate built in 1692 is arguably the oldest treehouse in the world, and was even visited by Queen Victoria as a young Princess.

Pitchford Estate Treehouse
Pitchford Estate Treehouse

The Treehouse Trend

In recent years, the typical trend of larger city breaks has diminished due to lockdown restrictions and uncertain travel plans. This has given rise to slower paced breaks that are closer to home, with holiday makers looking for a chance to unwind.

The Office for National Statistics have confirmed that across the UK, our behaviour and corporate business attitudes have changed, with a greater need to connect with the great outdoors.

It is therefore no surprise that hideaways, log cabins and treehouses are a highly sought after accommodation, with many holiday providers shifting their business models and adapting to this growing market. The popularity of publications such as Cabin Porn in recent years show our increased appetite for these buildings is continuing to grow.

Creative Design

At HPA we’ve worked on a number of projects to create outdoor spaces, including the new Treehouse accommodation at Another Place Hotel in Ullswater. This project which is now onsite saw us design and gain Planning Approval for a modern treehouse on the hotel grounds, with floor to ceiling glass windows and uninterrupted views of Ullswater Lake. The exterior of this outdoor retreat will be a tactile black charred timber in a sculptural form linked by a glazed walk way, and finished internally with a comfortable interior designed in conjunction with Dynargh Design.

Another Place Treehouse
Another Place Treehouse Visualisation

Ecology

Studying the ecology of a site is a vital part of our design process when creating outdoor spaces. This includes working carefully with existing trees, using appropriate eco-friendly materials and designing spaces that sensitively fit within the landscape.

Camping in the Forest, a new campsite at Sherwood Pines Forest Park was a project that required incredibly detailed tree mapping by the HPA team. This was key to the site’s success, thoughtfully creating small spaces for camping pitches and glamping pods that have their own character and work responsibly within the forest.

Farming Diversification

We have also worked closely with a contractor to develop a ‘Plus Pod’; a pre-fabricated building designed to sit in difficult sites where traditional buildings are not an option. We have successfully lead a planning application to host 8 of these pods within the trees on a Historic Estate. This innovative outdoor solution will provide holiday makers with a unique night sky experience in the woods, and create a small income for the Estate to keep other assets maintained.

The want and need for a nature retreat has never been more popular. As this market continues to grow, we look forward to sharing more stories of our different approaches to tree house structures and outdoor spaces as construction progresses this year.

To get in touch with us, call us on 01524 32479 or fill in the contact form here.

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