All children dream of tree houses, and many of those children grew up to transform them into real works of art around the world. A playful desire, an inspiration based on a fairy tale, an ecological motivation, or simply the discovery of a new commercial niche, are giving rise to the construction of tree houses that combine technology, architecture, and design to generate spectacular works that have nothing to envy the many that are anchored on Earth.
The premise of these constructions is to have the least possible impact on the environment, respect the landscapes, and achieve the sustainability of the construction. In fact, it is a common premise for any other architectural work -at least in theory- but if we consider that the construction takes place in the woods, each of these guidelines becomes more meaningful.
The usefulness of these tree houses is endless, and they are truly becoming a business. There are many customers looking for a shelter to isolate themselves from the big cities and their desire for luxury and comfort can determine the magnitude of the work. Here are three examples of how the typical childhood dream of the little house on the oak tree can materialize into a delicate tea house in Japan, a modern unconventional design in Canada or a super luxurious structure in France.
Like a fairy tale
Idyllic would be the right word to describe the vision of a delicate and minimalist construction of a small house that even includes a fireplace built on a sturdy cypress surrounded by cherry blossoms in the middle of spring. TeahouseTetsu is the name of the work of architect Terunobu Fujimori, who represented Japan at the Venice Biennale.
The building is in the Kiyoharu Art Village, in the city of Hokuto, a colony open to the public in 1983 where restaurants, art schools, sculptures and exhibitions are enjoyed by visitors. Elevated 4 meters above the ground, it has an interior space of 6 square meters. The interior design is strictly minimalistic and oriented towards the objective of the place, which is to offer visitors the best view of the villa while sharing a cup of tea. Several artists collaborated with the architect in the design of the ceiling, lighting, and the distribution of the interior space.
An egg on a tree
This is how Joel Allen describes his new home. At the age of 26, he worked as a web developer when he decided to retire from his office and his life in the city. After finding a mentor who taught him the craft of carpentry, he began the experience of building his own tree house along with some friends.
In a rather rudimentary process, he designed the egg-shaped house, which he tested on a much smaller scale than the real one in the courtyard tree of one of his friends. The forest of Whistler in Canada was the place chosen by the entrepreneur to execute his vision and two months of research were enough to find the most suitable place and tree.
The criteria were as diverse as basic: a tree sturdy enough to hold the egg, a good view of the forest, easy access by bike and a water source nearby. After three years of collecting the materials and working on the construction of TheHemloft, the young carpenter enjoys an unusual but magnificent construction.
Luxury in the woods
In the middle of a pine forest in France, architect Victoria Migliore developed a project that, although based on the dream of the tree house, is far from being rustic or basic. The house was developed with a rectangular shape and rises above the ground between 1 and 4 meters due to the level of the terrain and anticipating the consequences of the growth of the roots of the pines among which it’s built, it is all luxury and high-end design.
The rectangle is divided into several internal spaces that communicate with each other through sliding windows, letting in all the light and providing a panoramic view of the forest, thus achieving a perfect interaction between the interior and exterior of the house. An internal swimming pool, a net suspended in one of the canyons serves as an outdoor hammock, internal gardens and, of course, spaces where the trees penetrate the structure that resembles a ring over a hand that is made of pines, turn this house into a real adult interpretation of the classic childhood dream.
Coexistence with nature is now the trend in a world that is understanding better every day the importance of respecting the ecosystem and incorporating ecological practices into daily life. Going back to the forest, building on trees and not against them is the trend that is expected to prevail in time.