Aug 24, 2013
06:07 AMArts & Entertainment
Yale Graduate Trading $13,000 Summer Treehouse for London Design Gig
Mara Lavitt/New Haven Register
Yale Myers Forest, Union, Eastford and Ashford. 2013 Yale graduate Griffin Collier of Glen Cove, NY with the completed treehouse of sassafras and aluminum he designed and built with the help of friends, and support through Kickstarter.
Summer is nearly over, and Griffin Collier has to say goodbye to his treehouse.
In the next week, Collier, a recent Yale University graduate, heads to London to spend a year working at Heatherwick, a prestigious design studio. It’s a far cry from the weekends he’s spent up in the boughs of a 200-year-old sugar maple at the Yale-Myers Forest.
“This is not your average treehouse,” he explained, as he took visitors up in the $13,000 structure he and dozens of other Yale students built over the past three months. “An inhabitable sculpture is the best way to describe it, I think.”
It is perhaps the most celebrated Connecticut treehouse in recent memory. Collier and his friends raised money for the project on Kickstarter, originally figuring they would need $5,000. But the concept kept growing — and gaining attention along the way.
“I’m very pleased with it,” Collier said. “I had a lot of doubts at times, but I’m happy with it now.”
The treehouse is made of aluminum framing and sassafrass wood, which is locally sourced and highly resistant to rot. It encircles the old tree with a series of viewing platforms, rather than looking like a little house floating above the ground.