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.
The Web 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 see!
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 space.
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. Their Portfolio shows examples of completed tree houses in 26 states and 5 countries over the last 10 years.