Channel 4’s “Amazing Spaces”

Background to specification

Architect George Clarke decided in his 2013 “Amazing Spaces” series on Channel 4 that he wanted to build his ultimate dream of a modern-day treehouse – one that offered a truly livable retreat.

Taken with the idea of using three simple geometric shapes – a circle, a square and a triangle – he had a budget of £100,000 to design and build it. The triangle would become a pyramid shaped bedroom, with a roof that could open out to enjoy the spectacular treetop views of the Park.

The square beneath would be a central cube with room for living and eating, while the circle would consist of a suitably constructed tube to form an outdoor living and observation area. The production team’s research then led them straight to our door.

Key criteria

So strong and durable is our 2.5mm gauge galvanised steel pipe that it’s normally structured into the huge range of underground water management tanks and culverts functioning across the UK. But we were delighted to add “treehouse” to the list of applications.
Formed from 3 metre diameter corrugated pipe, the 3.7 metre long outdoor living and observation was required to create a year-round, all-weather living space. It would offer an open viewpoint to spend any time of day or evening, where visitors can eat and brew up on the wood-burning stove, fitted around with wooden seating.

Solution & benefits

The Sky Den took three months to complete, constructed with help from William Hardie Designs throughout the second series of his imagination-catching Channel 4 programme.

The main living space has a kitchen, wet room, fold-away furniture and glass doors opening onto a wide balcony, while the loft space roof opens at the push of a button to the Northumberland Dark Skies.
The Sky Den is much more than one man’s fantasy, however. Sitting 30 feet up in the Kielder Water & Forest Park, as part of the Calvert Trust it will be used to help people with disabilities to achieve their potential through outdoor activities and sharing in life’s opportunities.
For more information on the Sky Den and a full gallery of construction photos go to http://skyden.kielder.co.uk/ .