Slideshows

Treehouse Homes

Unique Nesting Places

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Treehouses are no longer just for child’s play. While they still do serve as playhouses for lucky kids, they’ve taken on some new functions as private home offices or studios, as elevated guest quarters, and as hotel accommodation as well. Or they can be real houses that just happen to be located in trees. Modern treehouses are also typically quite eco friendly. They have traditionally been built using salvaged materials, and now designers and builders have taken it further with energy-efficient
Photo: Alnwick Garden | Margaret Whittaker

Treehouses are no longer just for child’s play. While they still do serve as playhouses for lucky kids, they’ve taken on new functions as private home offices or studios, as elevated guest quarters, and as hotel accommodations, as well. Some are real houses that just happen to be located in trees.

Modern treehouses are also typically quite eco-friendly. They have traditionally been built using salvaged materials, and now designers and builders have taken it further with energy-efficient features, such as composting toilets, or utilizing solar panels and fuel-cell power.

In the slides that follow are treehouses located all over the world. They’re also all over the map in terms of style: Some are proper houses on high, but this collection also showcases the variety of uses for buildings in trees. One structure is intended as an office, one is a restaurant, one very big example is partly a church, and one house actually is for kids but will no doubt inspire envy in adults. Click ahead to see them all. 

By Colleen KanePosted 21 September 2011

Swiss Chalet

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Location: The Olympic Peninsula, WashingtonThis small-scale charmer built in 2005 by has a kitchenette, a bath, a sitting room with fireplace, balconies, and it sleeps four. It has a window seat accessible by ladder, and the house itself is accessible by ramp, which was built using salvaged Madrona logs.
Photos: Treehouse Workshop

Location: The Olympic Peninsula, Washington

This small-scale charmer built in 2005 by Treehouse Workshop has a kitchenette, a bath, a sitting room with fireplace, balconies, and it sleeps four. It has a window seat accessible by ladder, and the house itself is accessible by ramp, which was built using salvaged Madrona logs.

4Treehouse

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Location: Lake Muskoka, Ontario, CanadaThis Japanese lantern style tree habitation was designed by Toronto architect in 2003 with a budget of  $50,000 Canadian (about 50,399 USD). Only one steel cable is attached to each tree to ensure minimal impact. The 410-square-foot  “balloon frame” structure rests upon two Douglas fir beams suspended from those steel cables. 
Photos: Lukasz Kos

Location: Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

This Japanese lantern-style tree home was designed by Toronto architect Lukasz Kos in 2003 with a budget of $50,000 Canadian (about US$50,399). Only one steel cable is attached to each tree to ensure minimal impact. The 410-square-foot “balloon frame” structure rests upon two Douglas fir beams suspended from those steel cables.

The Minister’s Treehouse

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Location: Crossville, Tennessee
Photos: Flickr.com user [casey]

Location: Crossville, Tennessee

This 10-story treehouse towers nearly 100 feet tall and has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 square feet of space—it may be the largest treehouse in the world. That space includes the only penthouse for miles around, a basketball court, a church (including a choir loft), and a VIP balcony. Builder Horace Burgess told USA Today that his inspiration came from God: "I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material."' Those materials have included recycled wood from sheds and bars, and judging by the size of this place he did not run out.

Horse Farm House

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Location: Yelm, WashingtonThis 400-square-foot treehouse, another project created by Treehouse Workshop, is located on a horse farm overlooking a pond. It has a curved staircase leading up to an Art Nouveau style door, and inside is room to sleep two built with repurposed fir lumber.
Photos: Treehouse Workshop

Location: Yelm, Washington

This 400-square-foot treehouse, another project created by Treehouse Workshop, is located on a horse farm overlooking a pond. It has a curved staircase leading up to an Art Nouveau-style door, and inside is room to sleep two. The home was built with repurposed fir lumber.

Treehouse Djuren

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Location: Town not specified, Germany The Djuren is one of many extraordinary treepods designed by the German modern architecture firm , many of which are trapezoidal, orb-shaped or resemble vintage camp trailers. This treehouse serves as a retreat for adults or a playhouse for the family’s young children, and there’s room on the terrace for a table and some chairs.
Photos: Baumraum

Location: Germany

The Djuren is one of many extraordinary treepods designed by the German modern architecture firm Baumraum, many of which are trapezoidal, orb-shaped, or resemble vintage camp trailers. This treehouse serves as a retreat for adults or a playhouse for the family’s young children, and there’s room on the terrace for a table and some chairs.

High-Tech Hideaway

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Location: Athens, GreeceSome kids have all the luck, like the children of the client who asked the sustainable building and luxury treehouse builders to build them a James Bond-style hideaway. The resulting super-secure tree fort features a state-of-the-art biometric security system including fingerprint locks and a CCTV system. Why would children need a CCTV system? To monitor the five-color night-vision cameras covering the entrance to the treehouse, of course. Once that becomes tiresome, the
Photos: Blue Forest

Location: Athens, Greece

Some kids have all the luck, like the children of the client who asked luxury treehouse builders Blue Forest to build them a James Bond-style hideaway. The resulting super-secure tree fort features a state-of-the-art biometric security system, including fingerprint locks and a CCTV system. Why would children need a CCTV system? To monitor the five-color night-vision cameras covering the entrance to the treehouse, of course. Once that becomes tiresome, the Luckiest Kids in the World can heat up some hot dogs in the kitchenette and play some video games on the plasma TV.

Robert Louis Stevenson Legacy House

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Location: Unspecified site in Northern California  This getaway cabin perched among redwoods, another creation from Treehouse Workshop, has a wraparound deck to take in the grove of surrounding trees. It’s located on property that once belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson, and the reclaimed materials for this one include doors and windows that came from the celebrated Scottish writer’s house.
Photos: Treehouse Workshop

Location: Northern California 

This getaway cabin perched among redwoods, another creation from Treehouse Workshop, has a wraparound deck to take in the grove of surrounding trees. It’s located on property that once belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson, and the reclaimed materials for this home include doors and windows that came from the celebrated Scottish writer’s house.

Alnwick Garden Treehouse 

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Location: Northumberland, ScotlandThe is one of the world’s largest treehouses, and it’s probably safe to say it’s the world’s largest treehouse restaurant. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu sourced from local fare in this patchwork wooden structure of shingles and planks featuring a fireplace, decks, rope bridges and, of course, tree limbs growing through the rooms. It looks like something out of a fairy tale or Harry Potter, which is appropriate given its proximity to Alnwick Castle, whic
Photos: Margaret Whittaker

Location: Alnwick, Northumberland, England

The Treehouse at The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s largest treehouses, and it’s probably safe to say it’s the world’s largest treehouse restaurant. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu sourced from local fare. This patchwork wooden structure of shingles and planks features a fireplace, decks, rope bridges, and, of course, tree limbs growing through the rooms. It looks like something out of a fairy tale or Harry Potter, which is appropriate given its proximity to Alnwick Castle, which starred as the Hogwarts School in two of the Harry Potter films.

Treehouse Office

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Location: Shropshire Countryside, England
Photos: Blue Forest

Location: Shropshire Countryside, England

This medieval-style aerial office, another project built by Blue Forest, features arched windows and doors, decks, a cedar-shingle roof, and a rustic hand-split oak shingle and cedar exterior. Inside is a kitchenette with mini-fridge and a lounging area. It’s fully lined with western red cedar, and features low-profile recessed halogen lighting and a beautiful oak floor. A climbing net and slide are outside for the grandkids. And lest we forget, this treehouse also functions as an office, equipped with broadband and phone lines.

Center Parcs

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Location: Nottinghamshire, EnglandThree sustainably built treehouses were created in Sherwood Forest by Blue Forest. Each has four double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a living area and kitchen, and a secondary treehouse “entertainment pod” with a home theater and pool table. On the deck are a hot tub, sauna, and a dining area.
Photos: Blue Forest

Location: Nottinghamshire, England

Three sustainably built treehouses were created in Sherwood Forest by Blue Forest. Each has four double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a living area and kitchen, and a secondary treehouse “entertainment pod” with a home theater and pool table. On the deck are a hot tub, sauna, and a dining area.