Grown-Up Play Structure & Treehouse for Kids & Adults


Design+Build Outdoor Spaces

This exciting project was the third of many projects this family of five asked Silent Rivers to create!

Our clients’ children had outgrown their play set, and wanted us to build a play structure and treehouse. This was not to be just any backyard play set! Their vision was to create an outdoor adventure experience beloved by both children and adults alike. A place where the entire family and their friends could play, exercise and relax.

We came up with a plan to build a freestanding structure with tree-mounted platforms that include a rope bridge, cargo net, rope climb, chin-up bar, two ladders, trap door, drawbridge, swings, and an 80′ cat walk to connect the structure back to the house!

Our biggest structural challenge was building in and around the trees. We rose up to this challenge, both our of our love of design and love of nature, by using architectural and structural computer models. This allowed us to better understand the forms being built and how they would continue to serve growing, living trees. It also helped us gauge activity level, safety and durability of an outdoor structure that would facilitate tons of fun for years to come.

The lighting design plan ensured a spectacular experience during evening entertaining. Special touches throughout the project pay homage to the family’s cherished Danish heritage, such as decking patterns and metal brackets that harken to the Danish flag. Even the custom outdoor furniture contains representation of the flag and even denotes this family’s love of their Olympic excursions.

The intriguing pattern of metal rails in the bridge that connects to the roof deck on their addition (the second project we created with this family) is repeated in other places throughout the overall design. This representation of tree branches even appears in the braces and supports for the treehouse platforms.

What a joyful, integrated experience that carries through on previous projects to enhance this 1966 Johnston, Iowa home. Be sure to check out the other projects also in this home!

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