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This ultra-minimalist treehouse has its own rooftop workspace

From its built-in writing desk to minimalist interior styling, this Hudson Valley idyll is not your typical treehouse.

The Garrison Treehouse is not like most treehouses. It’s neither situated in a tree, nor is it a typical single-space suspended playroom. In fact, it wasn’t even built by a construction crew—it was assembled by a furniture maker.

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Why? Because the designers at the architectural studio Sharon Davis Design, which designed the small structure in Garrison, a hamlet in Putnam County, New York, felt that its small size and focus on details required some extra finesse. “To lead construction, we sought out a furniture-maker, rather than a general contractor, whose craftsmanship would elevate this small-scale work,” the architects explain over email.

[Photo: Elizabeth Felicella/courtesy Sharon Davis Design]

Collaborating with a furniture-maker had another added bonus: It helped preserve the site, which is surrounded by trees and perched on four 10-foot steel poles over a hilltop meadow on a 19th century farmstead, since most of the building could be prefabricated. The actual assembly in the meadow was limited to minor work. “Much of the house was built off-site,” the designers write, including “initial framing and custom finish elements, along with the fabrication of the steel super-structure.” In addition to the steel structure and polycarbonate interior the design features reclaimed woods—cedar and cypress—on its exterior.

The 320-square-foot treehouse has three distinct areas dedicated to writing, hiding, and playing.

[Photo: Elizabeth Felicella/courtesy Sharon Davis Design]
Kids can go inside by climbing up a rope net that hangs from the house’s belly. Then, they can open a wooden trapdoor to get inside. Here you reach the core of the house, with a central polycarbonate module where kids can hide and hang out comfortably. The two adjacent spaces on each side of the module are used for playing, according to the designers (though the kids don’t care where adults think they can play, so that’s that). The roof is open to the skies, and it’s dedicated space for writing: It features a built-in black mahogany desktop and a chair. Kids reach this tiny roof patio by a steel ladder, requiring them to open another wooden trapdoor.

Once kids are done playing—or writing their first novel—they can use the same ladder to descend. Or just jump onto the treehouse’s pièce de résistance: a stainless steel slide. You can probably guess which one they’ll pick, every single time.

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About the author

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast Company.

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