Somewhere in the secluded backwoods of British Columbia, hidden from view and out of ear shot of the civilized world, an egg shaped tree house in perched overlooking Whistler mountain. The beautifully handcrafted wood structure sits in perfect harmony with the tall pine forest that surrounds it. But who would build something like this and why? Turns out the former part of that question is a lot easier to answer than the latter.
The young man behind the treehouse is Joel Allen, who, after unsuccessfully attempting to retire at age 26, decided to try his hand at carpentry. While working and exploring the woods around Whistler, Joel got to thinking about a permanent outdoor sleeping solution, which set him on a path to build a tree house.
After playing around with a couple of ideas a friend suggested an egg shape. This struck Joel as divine genius. Unable to afford any land he decided to build on land owned by the Canadian government – a risky, but not all together unheard of practice in British Columbia. After finding a suitable spot, a long process of covert construction took place that required ferrying tools and supplies out into the woods. Once completed the house was giving the name HemLoft and Joel took up residence. To this day the location has been kept a secret.
Even now after its completion, Joel is still unable to fully explain why he decided to build the house. “I found myself grasping for some sort of rationalization that would make me seem less crazy, ” he says, “I guess… I just wanted to build something cool.” After the exclusive write up in Dwell and all the buzz he has gotten from the design blogosphere it looks like Joel’s career prospects have improved significantly. However, we hope his recent notoriety doesn’t garner the scornful ire of the wrathful Royal Canadian Mounties.