The Treehouse Project
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
In the late 1970’s, JKAE founder, Jordan Knighton, was still in the early stages of his career when he received a call for a new project. However, he quickly learned that this was no ordinary inquiry. The project: a treehouse. The client: a 7-year-old boy.
As Jordan later learned, the boy had initially asked his father if he could have a treehouse, to which his father sarcastically replied: “Sure, just call an architect to design one for you!” Not to let this stand in his way, the boy opened the phone book and happened to land on Jordan’s name. “When I received the call, I thought it was a joke or possibly a wrong number. But as I continued to listen, I realized he was dead serious about the project!” After his initial call, Jordan coordinated a site visit with the boy’s parents to study the project site (aka the tree). Jordan then went back to his office, and over the ensuing weeks, designed a magnificent treehouse. Over the next few months, he helped the boy and his father build the treehouse at no cost, and several months later, the boy had the treehouse of his dreams.
At this point in his career, most of Jordan’s time was consumed by trying to grow his fledgling business. But an opportunity to help someone achieve their dreams couldn’t be ignored. “Why do we get into this business? It’s not for money or fame. It’s to enrich the human experience. It’s to create a space for people to experience life, to make meaningful connections and lasting memories,” says Jordan.
At JKAE, we often reflect on this story to serve as a roadmap for our business as we continue to expand. The company has grown to over 35 employees and we design much more than treehouses, but we will never forget the reason why we’re in this business.