Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 2, 2013.

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Part architecture, part sculpture, part childhood dream: a treehouse built for the community.

Two New Goals:

NEW GOAL: $10,500

Lumber Upgrade: If we make it to $10,500, we'll be able to upgrade the decking of the treehouse. We are now looking at a number of naturally resistant soft and hardwoods. Instead of pressure treated pine, The Treehouse could have a beautiful redwood deck. If we reach $10,500, Every Backer will receive a set of professional photographs of the finished structure.

NEW GOAL: $11,000

Free Transportation: If we reach $11,000, transportation to the site will be arranged from New Haven to Yale Myers and back for every ticket-holder of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Anyone can become a ticket-holder by increasing their pledge by just $15.

New $150 Reward: Priority Visit - An all expenses paid trip to The Treehouse for you and three guests. Be one of the first to personally discover The Treehouse at Yale.

Upgrades Achieved:

Construction efficiency. If we reach $10,000 then ALL of the costs associated with construction, transportation, and installation will be fully funded. This means that we could potentially have a treehouse at Yale before the end of the term, which in turn would translate to a faster turn-around on rewards! 

Operable canvas weather-shield for the lower platform. We are considering the addition of a series of removable canvas walls that could enclose the lower platform in wet-weather, creating a tent-like nest in the tree! 

Treehouse Birdhouse. We are working on the design of a birdhouse, modeled after the form of the treehouse. This birdhouse would be positioned in a nearby tree to increase the bird-watching potential of The Treehouse.

Now is the time to become a backer! The Treehouse is funded, which means that every reward is now GUARANTEED!

The Treehouse is a proposed arboreal structure for recreation and wildlife-viewing to be constructed at the Yale Myers Forest in Eastford, CT. Scenically perched in an old sugar maple, The Treehouse would provide both a panorama of the surrounding woodland and a unique view into the upper canopy. It would be a place to get away, a place to reconnect with nature, or simply a place to be free.

It's not too late! Become a Backer and help make The Treehouse a reality!

Own the *Treehouse Sketch T-Shirt*

The Treehouse Sketch T-Shirt
The Treehouse Sketch T-Shirt

Put your name on a structure at Yale!

How Kickstarter Works

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. If you decide to become a backer, your payment will only go through if the project reaches its stated goal of $5000 by the February 2nd deadline. If the project doesn't reach its goal, no credit cards will be charged, and you, as a backer, lose nothing for having invested. If the project does reach its goal, the funding goes through and your selected level of reward will be shipped to you by the time indicated.

Why build a Treehouse at Yale?

When you back The Treehouse, you are investing in an idea.

The Treehouse would be a prototype for eco-centric design. It promotes a model of architecture in which the natural and the man-made are held to be equal. Careful measures have been taken in the design to avoid damaging the tree. Through its simple, open form, the structure is designed to enable, rather than disrupt, a connection with nature.

The Treehouse would be a symbolic structure. In some ways, a treehouse is a lot like a playground - it embodies that freedom of childhood imagination. It's not the most serious of structures, but it is certainly meaningful. It would mean something to have a treehouse at Yale; it would say something about the ideas that we as a community value.

The Treehouse would be a functional asset at Yale. The beauty of building at the Yale Myers Forest is that The Treehouse would be out of the way. It would not become an overcrowded site, but remain a quiet retreat for those willing to arrange a visit and make the pilgrimage out to Eastford. The Treehouse would compliment the existing trails and infrastructure at the Yale Myers Base Camp and encourage undergraduate interest in the Forest without becoming disruptive.

The Final Study Model
The Final Study Model

What has been done so far?

The process began by considering where at Yale a Treehouse could actually be built. The answer was not encouraging - zoning codes in New Haven would have made things very difficult (and the TD ginkgo was not in great shape anyway). A little over a year ago I got in touch with Kris Covey at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and discovered the possibility of building at the Yale Myers Forest.

The Yale Myers Forest soon proved to be the perfect site: a tranquil, natural environment free of city zoning codes with an enthusiastic community of treehouse-lovers and, of course, plenty of trees. Over the course of the next year, I worked with the managers of the forest, and, together, we selected a site and a tree that was both large enough and healthy enough to support a treehouse. I have secured permission to proceed with the project and am excited to continue working with the School of Forestry as the project moves ahead.

The design of The Treehouse was jointly advised by Brent Howard (School of Art), Turner Brooks (School of Architecture), and Kris Covey (School of Forestry). As such, the design process became a bit of a balancing act between the (often opposing) challenges of practicality, aesthetics, and functionality. After a year and a half and nearly a dozen study models, the design was eventually finalized. This past November, I presented my final study model to an internal committee on Forest Projects and it was approved to move forward. At this time, it was also accepted by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, and I have subsequently begun working with a structural engineer.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved. Funding is only one piece of a much larger puzzle. The Treehouse will need a team of dedicated volunteers to see it through to completion.

If you have ever wanted to build a treehouse, this is your chance. Do you want to help construct The Treehouse? See the tree for yourself? Manage the internet presence? Spread the word? Do you want to take on design challenges that will have a lasting impact at Yale?

Be a part of making The Treehouse a reality. Contact YaleTreehouse@gmail.com to get involved.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are numerous risks and challenges that come with any construction project, particularly when one is working with an unconventional design. No one has ever done exactly what we are attempting to do, so there is a lot that we will need to figure out as we go. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a remarkably talented and supportive team of advisors who can help me overcome these challenges as they arise. My chief Advisor, Brent Howard, has an extensive background in large scale construction projects and over seventeen years in welding experience. By working with these advisors, and taking advantage of their extensive knowledge, I'm sure that we will be able to puzzle out any difficulty that we might run into.

The second greatest challenge is the sheer number of man-hours that this project will require. We are currently in the process of broadening the Treehouse Team and expanding this group to include a much larger piece of the Yale community. We are both actively recruiting members for certain specialized tasks and seeking general volunteers to help out in a variety of ways. The number one task right now is spreading the word and generating interest in the project.

Finally, bureaucratic roadblocks will always be a possibility. That said, we have worked hard to reach out to people early in the design process. Having the Department of Health and Safety on board makes a huge difference, as does having a Structural Engineer and a host of highly invested, extremely experienced advisors.

The Treehouse is a work in progress, but we have taken every step in preparing and we are more than ready to hit the ground running should the money come through. Please help us in making The Treehouse a reality.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    17 backers

    OUR HEARTFELT THANKS -- Every backer who donates more than one dollar will be recognized as a sponsor of the Treehouse on the sponsors page of the Treehouse Website. All backers will receive updates of the Treehouse's progress and be acknowledged by name at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    68 backers

    MAKE YOUR MARK -- You will have the opportunity to personally sign your name onto the boards of the Treehouse or opt to have your name printed onto the boards by a member of the Treehouse Team.

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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    21 backers

    HIGH QUALITY PRINT -- Choose your favorite Treehouse image from a library of drawings, posters, and photos. (Image will be sized for a standard 8.5" by 11" frame)

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    45 backers

    TREEHOUSE SKETCH T-SHIRT -- Don't just be awesome; let everyone know how awesome you are. Where it on your shirt. Available in all sizes. (See attached image)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    16 backers Limited (24 left of 40)

    DRAWING BY THE DESIGNER -- You will receive a personalized, limited edition hand-drawn concept sketch of The Treehouse, signed, dated, and numbered for authenticity.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    13 backers

    Your Name or the Name of your Group will be professionally engraved onto the wooden boards of the Treehouse walls as a permanent testament to your support. (Names will be listed in order of donation amount and date of donation)

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    PRIORITY VISIT -- An all expenses paid trip to The Treehouse for you and three guests. Be one of the first to personally discover The Treehouse at Yale (Trip departs from and returns to New Haven).

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers Limited (10 left of 13)

    Your Name or the Name of your Group will be professionally engraved onto the face of one of the thirteen ladder rungs as a permanent testament to your support. Upon completion of the structure you will receive high-quality photos of both the treehouse as a whole and your name upon the finished ladder.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    A BONSAI TREEHOUSE -- I will personally design, construct, and install a custom treehouse model for a Bonsai Tree of your choosing.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    PATRON OF THE TREEHOUSE -- The Treehouse will be dedicated to you or a person/organization of your choosing and Officially renamed The _______ ________ Treehouse at the Yale Myers Forest. This is your chance to have a permanent structure at Yale University named in your honor.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (22 days)