Bellingham company to be on 'Treehouse Masters' TV show

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 11, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - Joe Clark, owner of Architectural Elements, was watching the Animal Planet television show "Treehouse Masters" and wondered if his company could help out on some of project designs.

Show employees responded immediately to his inquiry, wondering if the Bellingham company could come up with some custom arch metal fabrication.

Architectural Elements' handiwork will be part of an upcoming episode called "Bionic Treehouse," scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Friday, June 13.

The popular show is hosted by Pete Nelson, whose company is based in Washington. Nelson and his crew are hired to produce elaborate and creative treehouses, with much of the show focusing on how these homes are built.

In the "Bionic Treehouse" episode, Nelson needed a little help refurbishing some old treehouses he built in Fall City. The projects that involved Architectural Elements included replacing a wood "death bridge" (so named because it had become so slippery) with a metal bridge and replacing the "steps of doom" (the wood steps going up to the treehouse were falling apart), Clark said.

Architectural Elements is a 7-year-old metal fabrication company that works on everything from high-end residential projects to large commercial undertakings. For the company, Clark said it was a fun, different project that did have some time pressure.

"You'd be surprised at how fast it went from design to making it," Clark said, adding that the deadline was on them before they knew it.

Nelson dropped in at Architectural Elements earlier this year to take a look at the work and later tried his hand at some welding on the job site in Fall City. It was a fun experience hanging out with Nelson, said Kyle Thomas, an industrial designer for the company.

"It doesn't seem like he's acting; he's just a super-passionate guy," Thomas said.

The two treehouses that needed remodeling were among the original ones Nelson made in Fall City. Clark expects the improvements to extend the viability of the treehouses for many years.

"We took what was a dangerous situation and made it better," Clark said.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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