A tree house is a magical thing, it’s like a cottage when you’re a kid. The memories you could make in one of these tree houses were priceless.
Life in tree houses has largely been a storied fantasy, its details woven into books such as “Peter Pan” and “The Swiss Family Robinson“. But they actually have a long and rich history in the real world.
There has been evidence of tree houses used for habitation for thousands of years, as a way of living above inhospitable ground. In some parts of Asia, this style of dwelling is still popular because the flooding is a potential threat. People use belt and pulley systems to raise themselves or their belongings up to the canopy, which in turn provides shade in a hot climate.
In the Middle Ages, Franciscans monks used very basic tree-rooms to meditate, and Hindu monks also lived in tree houses to free themselves from earthbound considerations.
Many centuries later, the Renaissance period in the early 1500s brought a renewed interest in Classical culture, and the tree houses became a must-have in Florentine gardens. In the mid-19th century, a town just west of Paris called Plessy Robinson became famous for its tree house restaurants, where chic Parisians could be found during their leisure time.
We’ve gathered some of the Most Amazing Tree Houses from around the world:
1Grandfather Builds Epic 3-Story Treehouse For His Grandkids
Jay Hewitt is a handyman in Massachusetts who is definitely in the running for grandfather of the year. The experienced contractor is building an epic, 3-story, 40-foot-tall treehouse for his grandkids and family to enjoy.
2Mirror Tree House (Sweden)
Almost invisible and perfect for hiding, the Mirror House is part of the Tree Hotel project in the North of Sweden. As cool as it looks, we’re afraid the house may be invisible to birds.
Designed by: Tham & Videgard
3The HemLoft Treehouse (Whistler, Canada)
After retiring at the age of 26, programmer Joel Allen became a carpenter and fulfilled his dream of building “something cool”.
Image credits: Joel Allen
4Penda unveils its vision for a 20,000-person city constructed entirely from bamboo
By 2023, Penda claims, a city housing 20,000 people could be built entirely from their modular bamboo construction system, free to grow in every direction as the need arises.
5Free Spirit Sphere Tree houses (Canada)
Built with vision and engineering, these handcrafted spheres are suspended like pendants from a web of rope. They occupy a truly unique place in the world and provide a habitat for the un-tamed spirit that exists in us all.
6Three Story Treehouse (British Columbia, Canada)
This one is said to be the tallest tree house in British Columbia, Canada. You can find it somewhere near Revelstoke.
7Plane Treehouse (Costa Rica)
This vintage Boeing 727 was originally bought by Joanne Ussary for $2,000. It cost her $4,000 to move the plane and $24,000 to renovate an turn it into this Executive Suite 727 tree house.
8Yellow Treehouse Restaurant
This restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, offers you an amazing dining experience: the restaurant seems to be organically wrapped around the tree and is able to host up to 18 guests at a time.
Designed by: Peter Eising & Lucy Gauntlett
9The Bird’s Nest Tree House (Sweden)
Although it looks like a massive nest from the outside, the house has a modern and high-standard room built inside.
Designed by: inredningsgruppen.se
10Incredible Tree Houses of New Guinea’s Korowai Tribe
The Korowai Tribe of New Guinea has taken the concept of a tree house and taken it to the next level… or story, rather. These incredible structures aren’t for those afraid of heights.
11Teahouse Tetsu (Yamanashi, Japan)
Architect Terunobu Fujimori‘s treehouse combines both minimalism and fantasy. While the interior is simple and modern, the exterior looks like a castle from a fairy tale.
12O2 Treehouse (USA)
The O2 Treehouse seeks to “inspire humanity to reconsider how we can more harmlessly co-exist with nature” by creating world-wide tree house communities.
13Treehouse in Muskoka (Ontario, Canada)
Designed by Lukasz Kos, 4Treehouse is constructed around four trees over Lake Muskoka in Ontario, Canada, and floats in the air like a big Japanese lantern on stilts.
14Minister’s Treehouse (Crossville, Tennessee, USA)
100-foot-tall structure is said to be the tallest tree house in world, and was built entirely out of reclaimed wood by Horace Burgess in Crossville, Tennessee.
15Treehouse by Takashi Kobayashi (Japan)
Designed by Takashi Kobayashi, the Tree House People seek to “break down the feeling of separation that exists between humans and nature.”
16Treehouse for Birds and People (Andu Momofuku Centre, Japan)
If you have ever wondered how it feels to be living in a birdhouse, come to Andu Momofuku Centre in Japan. A modern tree house concept by Nendo offers you the possibility to peek into the private life of birds.
17UFO Treehouse (Sweden)
While working on the Bird’s Nest, which is largely in harmony with its surroundings, the idea of creating an entirely different environment was born. And what could be more different than an UFO?
18Treehouse in Seattle (USA)
This tree house has a rope bridge leading to its doorstep. Now tell me how cool is that!
19Eco-friendly Finca Bellavista Treehouse (Costa Rica)
This tree house is a part of the self-sustainable and eco-friendly Finca Bellavista tree house community in Costa Rica. The whole property of the community now takes up more than 600 acres, and is all connected by suspension bridges!
Image credits: Anders Birch
20A man spent 15 years building a five-story tree house in the wilderness
Minister Horace Burgess claims that he received a divine calling from God in 1993 saying, “If you build a treehouse, I’ll see that you never run out of material”. So for 15 years this man built like he’s never built before. He used an 80-foot-tall oak tree as the main support and six other oak trees to help stabilize the structure. The tree house now stands at 5 stories tall, complete with a church on one of the levels and a bell tower at the top.
Modern Designer Tree Houses
Designer tree houses often consist of multiple stories with a number of rooms and offer details such as running water and winding staircases. Some even boast luxury features such as hot tubs and solar lighting. These tree houses generally range from 240 to 3,000 square feet (22 to 278 square meters), and the options of what you can have are only limited by what you can afford. Prices range from $20,000 to $300,000, and can even go much higher than that. The sky, quite literally, is the limit.
The old “made of whatever dad found” tree houses are something from the past now. These new, safe and beautiful tree houses can make any yard a haven and any adult a child.