January 30, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: Budget

What young boy hasn’t dreamed of having a special, private place to escape from the daily pressures of school and the outsize expectations of adults? If that getaway happens to be a fanciful tower camouflaged by trees in a wild corner of your own backyard, all the better. It also helps to have an indulgent dad who happens to be an architect. Brian Roberson found an eager collaborator in his 8-year-old when contemplating the realization of just such a kid-centric place. Together, father and son designed their clubhouse, with its 16-square-foot observation deck offering a bird’s-eye overlook on the hillside site. This vertical play structure was planned and built over the course of eight months for a mere $650.

“Together, father and son designed their clubhouse.”

For horizontal skip sheathing, Roberson chose slats of pressure-treated pine cut to several widths. An inexpensively constructed folly has no need for fancy amenities such as window glass, of course, so there isn’t any—open hatches do the trick. And forget about a staircase. Perhaps to discourage any unscheduled visits from adults, he cleverly concealed vertical access, a simple rope ladder, inside the shaft of the tower.

Project Team: Dan Taylor; Turner Mclemore.

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