Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Treehouse Tower, Completed

The tower has been done for months now. In fact, it only took Eddy and his boys just over three weeks to finish it from start to completion back in May of this year.

Even after all this time I still love to look at it, my tower, to admire its simple soaring elegance. From every aspect I do this. I stare at it from directly below, from the side where it passes up through mango branches thick with leaves, from down the street where its cone-topped perch floats just above the treetops, from within it while climbing up its five flights, and finally, while standing on the top platform and looking directly down at the top of the banana tree planted directly in the middle of the tower’s concrete foundation. For me, this towering structure, painted dark green to blend in with its cover of fruit tree leaves, is a wonderful work of art, something to behold.

That's Eddy, the architect, the overseer, the builder, wearing the bandana over his mouth as he arc welds one of the hundreds of individual components into place. Notice the mangoes dangling in the foreground.

That's Eddy's youngest standing next to the platform framework. I asked him to stand by it to provide some perspective as to its size. As you can see, its not exactly tiny.

From beneath, this is the same platform frame already welded onto the very top awaiting for the myriad grill work pieces to be welded in place.

Half the flooring is installed in this shot, but, once I stood on it I knew it wouldn't do. There was almost a full inch between each round bar, way too much space for comfort. I told Eddy to have the lads add another bar between each existing one. After that, it was perfect.

Here, Eddy shows with a piece of paper how the roof would be shaped from prepainted aluminum sheeting. The idea being to form it into the shape of a traditional Filipino Bahay Kubo roof, which is usually made from thatched palm.

Shaped round bar is used here to stiffen the cone roof and to provide rigid attach points to the vertical supports. Aluminum tabs, attached with plenty of rivets every foot or so, secure the stiffening bar to the roof.

The riveted tabs are visible here. "Welding Man," crouching in the center of the roof, is attaching the stiffening bar with his trusty arc welder.

The finished roof being man-handled to the top of the tower using rope and muscle. It was not an easy procedure due to its extreme weight, the wind, and interfering tree branches.

In by inch, the roof was pulled upwards. Eddy was very much in charge while this took place because of the dangers involved. That roof, if it fell, would have come down like a killer knife-like sail because of its aerodynamic shape and sharp edges. Not only that, a drop would have meant buying all the materials all over again since it would have likely been crushed and made unusable.

Success. I thought the hard part was going to be over once we had it up there, but no, it took another 30 minutes of sweaty all-hands work getting the heavy ungainly piece into place on the verticals.

Eddy holds the roof in place while his son welds it on. I never heard him raise his voice in anger or impatience while instructing his workers in what to do, no matter how hairy it got. He is the epitome of a leader.

Three of my girls enjoying the view and each other's company at the top shortly after the tower was completed.

A neat thing about being on the platform is the feeling of being suspended in air. This is just before the final coat of green paint went on. As I've been saying, its a handcrafted work of lovely art.

One thing I really love about my tower is that it does not intrude visually. I have met other denizens of my subdivision living just down the street who have never even noticed the existence of my towering treehouse.
To see more photos of the tower build, from start to finish, check out my Flickr site here. Play the slideshow for the best look and also check out the details version for all the commentary and titles. Comments are encourage. (Ok Ed, enjoy...)


Unknown said...

Wow I had heard you talk about it and seen the pics in your earlier entry but this is really a neat tower I bet the girls just loved it.

Dave D.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yep, everyone really enjoys it, and it makes a nice center piece for my garden as well.

KA said...

... okay now i gotta ask... exactly how many kids do you have???

PhilippinesPhil said...

Six of my own, plus, another 3 that are my now my step kids. Of course the first three are grown now with kids of their own.

Ed said...

Awesome Phil. I can't wait to stop by sometime and check out the view in person.

Amadeo said...


A very unique project, so well executed.

I also like to spend time on our roofdeck, looking down on houses and people. It gives one a sense of insight not available to people on street level. And a sense of muffled serenity, too. You seem to be hearing things from a distance, muted and not grating.

That parabolic roof should also accord you the luxury of spending some siesta time up there.