Tue | Jul 23, 2019

Dream House | Perched in the midst of a forest

Published:Sunday | April 7, 2019 | 12:08 AM
Are you brave enough to shower outside?
The interiors seem to float high among 100ft Banyan trees.
Tree trunks and branches grow right through the house
Tree House in the middle of the jungle. Where is this place?
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In the spirit of adventure, let’s embark on a journey in search of a place that you may not even believe exists! A place lost in time, cut off from the modern world, where a thrilling architectural encounter awaits each and everyone of us.

Take the road less travelled (unfinished as it may be), all the way in to what can only be described as being in the middle of a jungle. But no one could live here. We must have taken a wrong turn. But wait a moment ... strange as it may seem, we actually see a man swinging from tree vines in the image of Tarzan. Surprisingly, monkeys inhabited nearby sometime ago. So, where are we? Is this a figment of our imagination?

Look more carefully. Through the thick rainforest, we are able to discern rustic houses, seemingly floating high among 100-foot banyan trees. Wind rustling through leaves; exotic birds chirping away; steep hillsides covered in towering bamboo, hibiscus and orchids; active wildlife and a secluded lagoon for swimming below – all this, a discovery seemingly rooted in make-believe.

The eco-friendly playful structures are actually tree houses. So climb with me up into a self-contained tree house, where trunks and branches grow unfettered through the building. Dare to enjoy all that it has to offer: walls and floors of timber; doors and doors of glass, and windows of full-height cedar louvres; ceiling fans spin above straw mats below; intricate wood furniture (including bamboo) and artwork from local craftsmen and artists.

An outside rain shower supported by a tree trunk, bathes you to slumber. Bose stereo system and a fully stocked wet bar. Sorry, no television to interfere with your peace of mind up here in the cloudy atmosphere.

But where is this place? Altitude has always evoked intense emotions and the architectural elements here, engaged with the natural surroundings, does somehow suspend us in disbelief.

For many of us who travel, we hope to find that space we can call home while we are away. Could this be your home away from home?

A unique architectural presentation that really exists right here in Jamaica. Located 15 minutes from Port Antonio, by Blue Lagoon, Portland. Named Kanopi House, it was designed by Jennifer Hew and built by her husband Brian, both owners of the six-acre property.

barry-rattray@hotmail.com, lifestyle@gleanerjm.com