This section describes recent or interesting projects. Click on the thumbnail image to the left of each listing to see photos or download video of the project. If you have questions or comments about something you see here, feel free to contact us. Enjoy!
This is a three-lobed workshop. Ends of two lobes open for drive through vehicle access. A large center space accomodates hoisting stuctures and machinery between the two floors.
Individual Images (same as those in the slideshow): End View, Both Open-able Ends, On First Looking Up To Second Floor, Second Floor Skylight and End Window, Center Opening and Winch, Another 2nd Floor Lobe and Window, Steps, From Uphill, Closed End, Uphill View.
Park Concept - Elevated Walkway
Concept rendering for a municipal park feature.
Slideshow: Park Concept - Elevated Walkway
Park Concept - Two Towers
Concept rendering for a municipal park feature.
Slideshow: Park Concept - Two Towers
Floating Forest Deck and Swing Platform
Forest decks offer a pleasant shaded environment and this hanging platform also doubles as the launch point for a zip line swing. Tree Towers' unique tree-friendly suspension system keeps the deck stable while absorbing the sway of its living supports.
Slideshow: Floating Forest Deck and Swing Platform
Individual Photographs (same as those in the slideshow): Complete Structure, Stairway, The Swing, Deck, Gates and Stairway, Full Structure View, Deck Close-up, Gate to Swing Launch Area, Tree Towers' Tree-Friendly Suspension Points.
To see the swing in action download these short video clips (right-click the link and select "Save As"):
Richardson Farm 50 ft Observation Tower
The Richardson Farm, home of "Worlds Largest Corn Maze" in Spring Grove, IL, commissioned a Tree Towers 50 ft tall observation tower to give their guests a new perspective on the famous maze. This tower features two full decks, spiral stairways and was constructed largely of wood components. It opened in late September 2007.
Slideshow: 50 ft Observation Tower
"Build a footbridge to replace the one washed out by flood" - that's what Tree Towers was asked to do for this project. The new bridge has a clear span of 112 ft. and a total length of 168 ft. The new deck and handrails are solid oak and the low-profile, cable-suspended design lets the structure sway gently underfoot. It's located in Madison County, Virginia.
Slideshow: Suspended Footbridge
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge - Treetop Observation Tower
Tree Towers specially designed this observation tower for the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and worked with Rio Valley Construction Inc. to produce a one-of-a-kind treetop observation platform. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, December 1st, 2006 at the refuge located 7 miles south of Alamo, Texas on the banks of the Rio Grande.
Santa Ana NWR is a popular destination for bird watchers nationwide and also includes a grove of some of the region's largest trees. The refuge contacted Tree Towers looking for a structural feature that would give visitors a chance to more fully experience their unique arid but forested environment. This observation tower features two distinct platforms and a gentle connecting stairway which wraps around the entire perimeter. From the top platform, guests get a clear view in every direction including of wildlife perched atop the large trees. The mid-level platform offers the distinct perspective of being well above the ground but still within the canopy. With its large open center, this structure also has an airy feel and lets many users observe from many angles, each in their own space.
Slideshow: Santa Ana NWR Observation Tower
Individual Photographs (same as those in the slideshow): tower, just prior to completion, ribbon cutting ceremony, finished observation tower, base, column and stairway, open center space, top railing and infill, large trees, views 1, views 2, views 3, views 4.
Special thanks to Howard and Linda Payne for graciously providing several of the photos shown here. They're currently helping out on the refuge. Their website is RV-Dreams.com and they also keep a journal of their travel adventures.
Oak Arch Bridge
Tree Towers was contacted to repair and upgrade this attractive, but structurally inadequate bridge. We decided that the best option was twin oak arches laminated in place with a single strand of steel cable running within each arch and down to the existing bridge structure at four points on each side. This 63 foot long pedestrian bridge is now stable and secure.
Slideshow: Oak Arch Bridge
Here's a variation on the zipline swing ride. The freestanding support structure wraps around its tree to create a stable platform without interfering with tree growth or sway.
Slideshow: Zipline Swing
At 40 ft. tall the tower's observation deck sits just below the treetops. Because the deck height matches the canopy, the tower can blend into the forest and still offer a spectacular vista.
This structure is a work in progress - it remains under construction and serves as a testbed for experimental techniques. Finishing, such as rail infill, paint, etc, have been omitted.
Slideshow: Observation Tower
Bridges are an ideal opportunity to blend structure and art. This bridge spans a gully 12' deep and 40' across to join two pieces of property. Before the bridge, one wanting to get to the other side had to walk/slide down a muddy slope and then climb back up the other poison ivy covered bank. Now crossing is a pleasure, even with a lawnmower in tow.
Form is integral to function and here we have a flared design composed of four steel arches, an epoxy-stone walking surface and the rising sun motif - yellow and red with a copper rim. Note that color selection is a matter of taste, the client's taste. Bold and bright was the goal here but earth tones are also possible.
Slideshow: Arched Footbridge
In the genre of temporary structures, Tree Towers developed this party shelter. Our aim was to cover the patio without obstructing the space. The clear span was 15 x 30 ft. and the structure did not require obtrusive center poles or guy-wires. A translucent fabric skin conformed, wrinkle-free, to the aluminum skeleton.
Being temporary, the shelter is readily installed one day and removed the next.
Slideshow: Party Shelter
Swinging Zip-Line Ride
Here's a great example of a Tree Towers ride. The bag seat hangs from a pulley which travels on a cable suspended high above the yard. From a launch station in the upper tree, the rider hops on the swing, glides across the yard, swings up toward the sky, and then rebounds on the downswing to zip back across the yard. It comes to a stop near the midpoint of the run for an easy dismount and a short walk back to do it all again!
Slideshow: Swinging Zip-Line Ride
To get a better feel for the concept, download these short video clips (right-click the link and select "Save As"):
This minimum structure hangs from a large poplar tree on an estate just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. To get into the basket, the user puts on a climbing harness, connects to a counterweight system and scales a rope. The counterweight make climbing the rope much easier than it sounds. Both climber and rope pass through a door in the floor of the structure. Once inside, the door closes securely and the new occupant can disconnect from the counterweight and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Not for the timid, this is an example of the wild projects we can do for interested clients.
Slideshow: Observation Basket
Swing Tower Demo
Swing towers serve as launch platforms for our double-suspended swings. This tower demo features a circular stairway which wraps around and up to the tower's two decks at 8 ft. and 16 ft. above grade. Both platforms are 7 ft. in diameter and coated with a concrete and pebble mix to create a durable non-slip surface. The first platform is partially shaded by the second and in this instance is used for hanging plants and bird feeders.
While all swing platforms need to have a gap in the top rail for getting onto the swing, this particular unit has lots of gaps because it's an experimental project. These photos are of a demonstration structure built to test construction techniques so most railing and infill has been left off.
Slideshow: Swing Tower Demo
Located in Fredericksburg, Virginia; this playhouse sits on a suspended hexagonal deck. It features two levels, a lower enclosed area which connects to the upper platform by way of a trap door. A suspended stairway provides access to the deck which is surrounded by handrails and a chain-link mesh. While a neat project, we've made significant advances in our construction system since this playhouse was built.
Slideshow: Suspended Playhouse
Double Suspended Swing
This is a double suspended swing. A seat dangles at the end of a long rope which itself hangs from a second rope - strung between trees high overhead. Riders launch from a raised platform to experience the "rush" and a long lasting, irregular swing pattern. This feature is sure to dispel any traditional notions of the tame backyard swing.
Slideshow: Double Suspended Swing
Why use a plain ladder when you can have a spiral ladder? Our twist provides elegant and easy to use access for elevated decks and platforms.
Slideshow: Double Suspended Swing
Icosahedron-based Play House
Play houses don't have to be mass-produced plastic boxes. In this example the icosahedron shape is covered with an experimental weather-proof fabric. Windows are wood framed with plastic panes. All of the windows and diamond-shaped door open inward.
Slideshow: Icosahedron-based Play House
Our founder started building unique structural features some 25 years ago. These black and white photographs show one of the first suspended decks. The client could walk directly from his stationary deck, across a bridge and right into the canopy of a large oak tree.
Slideshow: Canopy Deck