Harptree Court is an award winning country house bed and breakfast. As a Grade II listed Historic England building, the client decided to expand the business by creating a distinctive outdoor space for guest to stay in.

In collaboration with Bowerhouse, Packman Lucas developed a unique tree house that blended within a grove of trees, set high within the canopy. The stilts supporting the main structure were designed to be as elegant and light as possible, such that the house appears to float within the trees. The whole construction process took less than four months. This short programme was achieved by using a prefabrication system, which utilises a computer numerical controlled machine to prefabricate timber building blocks.

The project was shortlisted for the 2012 IStructE Awards with the judges comment as follows:

“At first sight a tree house might not offer too much opportunity to utilise structural engineering expertise. On the contrary, the Harptree Court Treehouse has clearly benefited from an intelligent reconciliation of the structural demands with the most appropriate solutions. Triangulation of structure, simplicity of foundations and pre-fabrication of components – features we irregularly employ on larger projects – have been cleverly combined to produce a delightful result.”

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