Arboreal abodes are, in themselves, quite fantastical.
Appearing nearly as extensions of the very branches they rest upon, their presence alone conjures questions about the whimsical beings that live within. Though unquestionably part of a niche market, these houses can provide a new outlook on life. Even if you never choose to live within a sylvan hollow, a single day spent in arboreal accommodations can help to recenter your creative focus.
Often, tree houses are constructed of materials that are both renewable and locally sourced. Furthermore, some may still be able to biodegrade, electrical installations aside, assuming they haven’t been coated in chemical paints or finishes.
The above is only one example of architectural wizardry featured in Philip Jodidio’s book, ‘Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air’. The publication showcases a menagerie of fantasy inspired tree homes on a varied scale, from tower-like forts to elevated mansions. Many are operating today as lodging and travel destinations.
Essentially suspended yurts, “Free Spirit Spheres” evoke the excitement of a club house. Though they originally intended to mimic the structure of a sail-boat, as well as the shape and protective properties of a nut. Spherical tree houses allow you to tuck yourself away in the wilderness, where you can observe nature unobstructed, remaining autonomous within the sphere. Each sphere has round windows to peer from, some high enough to act as miniature skylights.
Just because they are rooted in childhood and imagination doesn’t infer tree houses cannot be sophisticated hideouts for adults. Quite the opposite, really. Many newly designed tree houses, like the above, cradle both modern amenities and luxurious seclusion, and cater to a slightly more contemporary crowd. Some, also as that featured above, are crafty space-savers impaled on a single tree. Others span multiple trees, with separate units harboring their own functions and amenities.
While many of today’s tree houses in the media’s spotlight are for lodging and recreational uses, it is certainly possible to build your own home in the branches, and can even be practical. Horace Burgess, who calls himself “the minister”, (a name which conjures frightful allusions to Cormac McCarthy’s “the Judge”) began construction on his own residential tree house in the 1990s, and it has since become the largest tree house in the world. Perhaps an effort to reach the divine, the tree-top mansion is currently ten-stories tall and counting. It is comprised of recycled lumber and named simply, “Minister’s Tree-house.” The house has, unfortunately, been closed by the state, but this is hopefully temporary. In the meantime, you can view it in all its rustic splendor below.
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