This Sprawling Modern Treehouse in the North Georgia Is Full of Surprises
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
In the more remote parts of north Georgia, landmarks are still useful guidance tools for getting where you need to be. That's why when I caught wind of the delightful hickory smoke wafting from the Pink Pig and saw the namesake oinker on a roadside sign; I knew I was on the right track.
Once I had my bearings, I meandered cautiously up the mountain path to Hidden Lake Court and to the lot where a pair of modern treehouses designed by James Knight of Reynard Architectural Designs were under construction.
I met the builder (also the homeowner) for a walk-through on the progress they had made on the twin modern tree house homes.
In 2021, we partnered with Clements Vacation Rentals for a project to design the treehouses built in the mountainous woods of Cherry Log, GA as a vacation retreat. James worked closely with the client to develop an architectural design concept for a one-of-a-kind treehouse that serves up gorgeous views of the North Georgia mountains and offers a cozy, serene getaway.
Developing a Concept
Our client came to us with concept images and design ideas they wanted to incorporate into the homes. There was a variety of architectural elements from different homes that were given to us as a guide to the design process. The challenge was to draw from all the sources of inspiration and develop a concept that would function within the space and be an entirely unique creation.
The final floor plan James created was very different than the images seen below. However, they provided a helpful dialog with the client where he could discuss what worked and didn't work within the overall goals for the tree houses.
Some of the elements in these inspiration images that were incorporated into the final design are:
angled roof lines
an elevated living space
a wraparound porch that encompasses the entire home.
The floor plan and concept that was eventually decided upon is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom layout with an open kitchen/living room area and a screened porch. A deck wraps around nearly the entire home with a handicap accessible ramp that gradually inclines to the living space and sits roughly 10-12 feet off the ground among the trees.
The floor plan design is an angled "cross" that keeps the bedrooms on either wing of the home and allows the common areas to be easily accessible in the central areas. A secondary, smaller deck is gently tethered to the main home and is intended by the owner to be used for an even deeper retreat into the woods for solitude and relaxation.
Using the site information provided by the client, James was able to delineate the property into two lots upon which twin tree houses would sit. Though relatively close to each other, the wooded property and topography of the site actually provides a good amount of privacy between the two homes so that they truly are private from one another.
This site survey of the property in Cherry Log, GA shows the location and footprint for two twin treehouses.
North and south elevations show the crisscross sections of the home with the detached "satellite" deck. An angled roof line runs from the front of the home to the rear while a traditional gabled roof line runs perpendicular.
From East to West you can see the rear, east-facing screened in porch that will offer inspiring views of the sunrise as well as the mountains and "hidden valley" creeks.
Finalizing the Concept: Pre-Production
In order to finalize a design concept, James Knight aided the conversation with generated 3D perspectives (REVIT) that give the home owner a glimpse of what the tree houses would like in production before completing the final architectural and structural details for permitting.
The east facing screened back porch with a small, rear spiral staircase for a separate entrance/exit the porch as well as a below-deck living space that still takes advantage of the beautiful mountain overlook behind the home.
The final, proposed floor plan only contains 1400+ of heated square footage but the sprawling nature of the footprint and the high, angled ceilings inside give the impression of a much larger home. Since the homes sit high atop a central column the height magnifies the home to create a feeling of grandeur as you approach.
3D interior perspectives bring the floor plan to life before architectural detailing is completed and a permit set is prepared for submission.
With a permit set in hand, construction can finally begin. Our design team, led by James at Reynard Architectural Designs, completed a full architectural and structural set that was submitted to an engineer for review. This was particularly important for these treehouses since the design calls for an elevated tree house that sits high upon the property and features a unique "floating" design that takes provides an immersive experience for visitors.
The drive up to the property gives hope but no real indication that there will be a clear view of these mountains in North Georgia. Facing east, the home is oriented to take full advantage of the sunrise and inspiring mountain views from Hidden Lake Court.
The poured concrete central foundation of the treehouse provides a column from which the rest of the house will "sprout" and sprawl into the woods.
The beginnings of the framing for the wraparound deck are constructed
The floor joists are seen here and the floor framing structure for the initial layout of the "criss cross" architectural design.
The central foundation column is finished with "mountain mist" stone facade to give a modern rustic look to the home.
Looking from South the North through the center of the home. The angled roof line captures eastern sunlight coming up over the mountains. The rear of the home faces a grand view of the mountains and the "hidden lake"
Facing east, the screened in porch sits underneath a gabled roof that runs perpendicular to the angled roof. The porch faces a breath taking view of the mountains and "hidden lake" below.
Once complete, the home will also feature a glass wall with rebar railing wrapping around the surrounding deck as well as luxurious, dark bronze entry way doors.
Still a Work in Progress
I will be returning to the property as the treehouses are closer to completion to get more photos and share the progress.
If you're interested in staying at one of the two treehouses in Cherry Log, GA, the homes are currently available for booking. You can reserve your time with the Hidden Lake Hideout with Clements Family Vacation Rentals.