Living in a tree house is not exclusively in the domain of
childhood fantasies. There are lots of grown-ups who can’t resist the lure of
living in a house up in the trees. Everyone probably remembers that great old
Disney movie, Swiss Family Robinson,
about the family that gets shipwrecked and lives in the most amazing, sprawling
series of tree houses, suspended in the dense jungle foliage. You can probably
think of quite a few movies where tree houses play a role – a sure sign that
their appeal is universal.
Urbanist, that great online enclave of architecture and alternative art,
has a fantasy-provoking feature called 10 Amazing Tree Houses from Around the
World – Sustainable, Unique, and Creative Designs. The article says, “Some
structures are built on trees or hung from trees, but some unusual tree houses
are even grown from trees or built right into a tree. Some people live in trees
as a luxury, some to help save the environment, and others out of tradition or
necessity. Tree house designs range from functional to fanciful, sustainable to
strange, and affordable to incredibly expensive.”
The photos tell most of the story here, as you can plainly
Some tree houses are custom
made by designers who are also tree experts, in which the type of tree is
taken into account in terms of its suitability for supporting a structure.
There are spherical
tree houses that are quite intriguing. Designed to be hung in trees, they
are waterproof and impact-resistant, composed of an internal laminated wood
frame and clear fiberglass exterior. They look kind of like pods from outer
You’ll see tree houses that look like geodesic domes, like Japanese lanterns, and like some
strange cave dwellings.
You’ll love the example
of work done by the TreeHouse Workshop, “a Seattle-based company that takes
the art of constructing tree houses extremely seriously. They build an average
of one tree house per month and hire extremely able builders and carpenters to
construct their projects. Their finished works vary in luxury but some even
include (counterintuitive!) fireplaces.”
After you’ve browsed the photo gallery and information in
the Web Urbanist feature, be sure to click over to the TreeHouse Workshop.
shows examples of completed tree houses
in 26 states and 5 countries over the last 10 years.
What type of remodeling job are you interested in?