How It All Began…With Simon Payne
24th July 2012
How did you come up with the idea of building tree-houses?
Blue Forest was founded by Andy Payne in 2003. Andy and I (Simon Payne) were born in Kenya where we were fortunate enough to have spent our childhood surrounded by the beauty and adventure of the great outdoors. Following the completion of his degree course, Andy gained significant timber framing and construction expertise through a combination of business and voluntary experience in both the UK & Japan. This included the design and construction of a canopy walkway and treehouse for a friend who runs a conservation project in Kenya. Blue Forest was born of these experiences and from a desire to bring people closer to the natural world. The name Blue Forest comes from the Japanese Region called “Aomori” meaning ‘Blue Forest’ – named after the ‘blue’ appearance of the distant pine forests in this mountainous region of Japan.
What is the most bizarre-unique treehouse that you have built?
I think most of our treehouses probably seem bizarre to anyone who is not used to the concept of people building luxury treehouses! When you say the word “treehouse” most people think of a few pieces of timber and palette up in the branches of a tree. As you can see from our website this is not the type of treehouse we build. We have completed a wide variety of strange tree house requests, including installing: an Aga oven, hot tubs, home cinemas, offices, wet rooms, secret tunnels and even a treehouse with a separate door for the fairies!!
Which is your favourite treehouse from your portfolio?
My favourite treehouse project is called the “Living The Highlife Tree House”. You can see some pictures of the treehouses and read more about the project here.
Have you built a treehouse for yourself (Not including the tree houses you built as children!!)?
Shortly after we started Blue Forest we built a treehouse as our office. Over the years we have outgrown this space and so the treehouse has now been converted into a bed & breakfast for people who want to stay in a luxury treehouse on their holiday.
How much does a Blue Forest tree house cost?
Our tree houses start at about £15,000 and “the sky is the limit”! We have had private treehouse contracts up to a value of £450,000 and commercial projects in excess of £1.5 million. Whatever your treehouse dreams we are confident we can design the perfect hideaway for you.
Do you have any projects on at the moment?
Yes, we are working on a number of different projects around the country, including tree houses for kids and adults. In addition to our treehouse projects, we are working on the following commercial schemes.
- – Lead designers for the new Canopy Walkway / Rainforest Experience at the Eden Project.
- – Design of the new treehouse suites at Chewton Glen Country Hotel & Spa.
- – Design and Construction of a new eco-classroom for Cranleigh Preparatory School.
Most of our clients are in the UK. We do complete a number of projects across Europe each year. Indeed, we have recently finished a treehouse in Tuscany, Italy!
We do undertake projects outside of Europe but these tend to be based around architectural design consultancy and project management. Our latest “worldwide” project was in Malawi, which was an exciting safari conservation tourism lodge.
What is next for Blue Forest?
The latest development is a concept we have called the eco-PERCH.
The eco-PERCH concept is based on Blue Forest’s famous tree houses. It’s natural, organic geometry maximises the relationship between the inside space and the outdoor setting, ensuring the structure sits harmoniously within the landscape.
This versatile accommodation unit offers guests an unrivalled experience and provides clients with a vivid resource for PR and marketing, helping to set them apart from the competition. The building sleeps 4 people and is delivered, assembled and commissioned in approximately 5 days (subject to site preparation). The eco-PERCH design is flexible and can be adapted to suit your site where existing infrastructure is already in place. With options to assemble your building on the ground or in the treetops, there are infinite possibilities for creating accommodation with a difference. To simplify the planning requirements the building has been designed to conform with the Caravan & Mobile Homes Act.
Further information regarding Blue Forest: Contact: Simon Payne,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01892 750090