In Residence: Jim Olson – inside the architect’s treetop house
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In Residence: Jim Olson – inside the architect’s treetop house


My grandparents got this property in 1912 so it’s been a hundred
and three years now And when I was 18 I was just a first year architecture student my dad gave me $500 and he said go build a bunk house in the woods and so this hillside was
just the perfect place surrounded by trees and so I just came up here and did that I mean, it’s kind of a dream come true it’s probably the best opportunity
I ever had It was all about, and still is
about being part of nature I wanted to do this little house and it was only 14 feet by 14 feet set it in the trees and just set the house down as though it were literally just part of the forest and had just grown there It was a place to go to just
sort of be in the woods and be sort of part of this beautiful natural environment that we have here You know, this place
is all about looking out We’re here to, basically,
be part of nature but also to observe nature and we have wonderful native plants: fir trees Cedar trees, huckleberries I just get back to sort of a perspective of humans are part of the natural world and that’s where it all begins and ends and it kind of helps me
in everything that I do The house ended up on a hillside facing south looking
across a body of water and later on in life I’d studied-
working in Asia and Korea- the perfect place for a building
is with a hill behind you on a slope, looking south across water and I realised later that
that’s what this place is doing and I didn’t plan it-
I wish I had- but I think about it a lot

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