Raising The Owl House

Collin and his crew just finished assembling the bones of an owl-shaped treehouse set in an Olympia, Washington, rainforest for the Previous Man film his friend Sean O'Connor wrote and is directing. The film features another friend, Shane O'Grady, as actor and producer, with the star role going to Daniel Higgs, the deeply-bearded lead singer of Lungfish, whom Shane called an "embodier" rather than an actor. 

The Owl House, as it's been dubbed, is a finessed timber frame structure of fir, walnut and birch, finished with a light round of sho sugi ban carbon charring, and between the heavy-mossed firs of the coastal rainforest, under the canopy of wet leaves, the dark wood with its burned grain is expansive, heart-opening; and yet also constraining, unsettling. It is exactly what Sean and Shane envisioned for the way the Owl House plays into the development of the film's main character.  

Collin's crew — Dave and Hank, with the on-site addition of Johnny — worked hard on the raising, and Dave and Hank stayed to finish the structure's staircase. In the coming days, the lighter wood of the flooring will be stained and the structure will be finished out by Olympia-based Pete Chramiec's crew. 

Shelter from the storm

A home is your sanctuary and your protection from the natural elements. Sometimes those elements dish out more than is expected. Last night, Sandpoint, Idaho, and its surrounding areas suffered wind storms that knocked out electricity and damaged many homes, primarily due to trees falling on them.

One of the first homes I designed and built suffered multiple blows by very large trees, but held strong. When I went inside to tally the destruction, I saw that the timber frame had remained intact and true, thus protecting the interior from any damage.

On this home we installed a cedar shake roof, which is easy to replace, reuse, and recycle.
If this was an asphalt roof, the landfill would be its next home. Wood is an enduring material because of its easy repairability, strength, longevity, low embodied energy to produce, and lasting beauty. 

For centuries, timber frame homes have offered that extra assurance of security and safety, and they still do that today.