Forest Lookout (Part 1)

How do you transform a steep, barren space into a charming, lively play area?

Why, with a playhouse, hanging bridge, tree platform and water slide, of course!

With two young sons and a bevy of cousins and friends they wanted to host, this Los Angeles family was looking for a spacious playscape that would leave the flat area open as it is the only level space in their yard. Barbara came up with a custom design that links the uphill tree with another tree further down the slope to create a haven for imaginative play.

Because the children are fairly young, the octagonal tree platform is fully fenced, offering a look-out fit for a king but no way down.

After the design process, Barbara always creates a stick-out (a 3-D sketch of the structure) to ensure accuracy before building the components at her shop. On challenging terrain, however, the stick-out is particularly vital to make sure that the finished structure can withstand mayhem in the morning and adventures in the afternoon.

The next step is to install the footings and the embankment slide so the landscapers can add grass and greenery to the space.

Meanwhile, back at the shop, fabrication is underway. Here, natural redwood is meticulously transformed into an environmentally responsible playhouse. Will it be a fortress to be protected against werewolves or a homestead for pioneers traveling west by covered wagon? Only the children know.

Stay tuned for photos of the completed project in next week’s post!


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