Award-winning tree house design will be built

Tuesday, 27 February 2007


After winning an award for her design for a rural education centre, architecture student Samantha Sherwood will get to see her tree house design turned into reality in the New Forest.

After winning an award for her design for a rural education centre, architecture student Samantha Sherwood will get to see her tree house design turned into reality in the New Forest.

Samantha beat competition from architecture students from across south east England, when her design came first place in a competition run by the Solent Centre for Architecture and Design. Students were invited to design a tree house study centre for the Countryside Education Trust (CET) based on the Beaulieu Estate in the New Forest in Hampshire.

Last week, Samantha was presented with her award by Lord Montagu's eldest son the Hon Ralph Montagu at an event at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

Samantha 's innovative tree house will be built later this year, replacing the dilapidated huts that are currently used by the CET as classrooms where children and adults learn about the countryside. The tree house should be finished in spring 2008.

Winning treehouse designThe Oxford Brookes University third year student said: “It was a real surprise to win – I’m really pleased. I will be really excited to see my design built and follow the project through to the end.”

It will be the first of Samantha’s architectural designs to actually be built, and she will gain invaluable experience as she joins the consultant team to assist in the development of the detailed design and production of the tree house.

The judges were seeking designs that provided good access for disabled people, whilst also being environmentally sustainable. Samantha’s design certainly rose to the challenge, featuring a grass roof, solar panels, large windows, underfloor heating fuelled by wood pellets and a light and wind tower - all several feet off the ground among the trees.

Samantha’s design and other students’ submissions have been on display at an exhibition at Beaulieu National Motor Museum. Tom Lethbridge, also an Oxford Brookes student was one of the four runners up.