Grown-ups who’ve fantasised about Peter Pan-style treetop living, consider your childhood dreams fulfilled.
Touring over 36 structures around the world, Treetop Hideaways: Treehouses for Adults by Philip Jodidio aims to inspire readers with architecturally stunning buildings, from a luxury beachfront treehouse in Mexico to a cosy pinecone-shaped retreat in the forests of northern Italy and an impressive 600-square-foot abode in Texas described as ‘unusually large’.
Publishers describe the tome as ‘a definitive examination of treehouse living’.
Jodidio writes: ‘The idea of escape – be it out of revolt against the polluted modern world, or merely a romantic ideal of a simpler life, even for a few days – is deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of today’s growing number of treehouse devotees.’
In the preface, meanwhile, Emily Nelson writes: ‘No matter the style or function, a treehouse encourages you to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.’ Scroll down for a preview of the book’s most out-of-this-world treehouses…
This ‘unusually large’ treehouse in Austin, Texas, is called The Nest. It covers 600 square feet (56 square metres) and was built by Will Beilharz and his firm, Artistree, the book reveals. Breilharz tells Jodidio that upcycling and biomimicry were huge parts of the design – ‘from the floors in the bedrooms to the mason jars used for drinking glasses’. Jodidio reports that the overarching metal grid was installed for climbing plants, which architects hope will create a living green canopy with time
Built of slate and wood and supported by stilts, the narrow Snake Houses (pictured) are designed to ’emerge quietly’ from the trees of northern Portugal, according to the book. ‘The Snake Houses most undoubtedly bring to mind one’s childhood and its heritage of dreams,’ Jodidio writes of the work by Lisbon design firm Rebelo de Andrade, which included air-conditioning, wifi, and ample living space into their designs
This quirky abode, called Pigna, is perched among the treetops of Malborghetto in northeastern Italy, explains Jodidio. The architect, Claudio Beltrame, designed the structure ‘to represent the forest and mimick the profile of a pinecone’, with pigna meaning pinecone in Italian. What’s inside? Jodidio reveals: ‘A living room with a rough-hewn wooden couch faces a small kitchen and a bathroom. Stairs lead from there to the upper-level bedroom. The double bed is placed beneath a round skylight at the very top of the treehouse’
Behold Equilibrium Home treehouse, which is located in Woodside, California, and built, we’re told, using California red wood. The book reveals that it features a sleeping loft and a slide down from the stairs, adding: ‘Inside it is bright and inviting, with large, glazed surfaces, including the entrance door. The triangulated supporting frame allows the building to seem almost to float between the trees’
Part of a luxury beachfront resort in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Playa Viva (pictured), we learn, was designed by Artistree and built using bundled bamboo, and is open on both ends. Inside there’s a king-size bed and hammock overlooking the ocean, the book reveals. ‘The unusual tubelike structure of this elevated house (in the trees) makes it ideal as beachside accommodation with all the comforts in an eco-resort,’ writes Jodidio. ‘Water used by the suite is heated with solar energy and recycled where possible’
Located amongst the pine trees of Gjerstad in southern Norway, Cuckoo’s Nest is ‘solid, ample, and comfortable’, and more akin to a hotel suite, according to the book. Modern comforts include a gas stove, solar-powered electricity and a wood-burning stove. It is ‘in a (beautiful) natural setting where the real rigours of nature are quite a bit closer than they might be in a more “normal” building’, Jodidio adds
Coco (pictured here) is a group of five pods that are found in the jungle of Costa Rita. ‘The focal point of each of the pods, which are oriented to the best views, is a bed, except for the largest structure, which houses a shared kitchen and dining area,’ according to the book. And each pod is joined by wooden footbridges designed to view the ‘lush surrounding vegetation and the ocean’. They’re not treehouses in their most traditional form, the book admits, but as they’re raised well above ground level, an exception has been made
A curved arch house in the forest of Curico in central Chile, La Invernada is more of a platform in the trees than it is a treehouse, the book says. It reveals: ‘On the ground floor, a wood-burning stove warms a lounge area and kitchenette. Also on the lowest level, there is a bathroom and a small bedroom that opens through glass doors to an exterior deck that surrounds an old tree. Lounge areas with pillows are located on the smaller second and third levels inside the structure.’ The author adds: ‘La Invernada is a remarkable example of architectural modernity in an off-grid setting in the midst of nature. Inhabitants are at once exposed to the views and light of the forest setting, but also protected in a computer-designed and milled wood and polycarbonate shell’
Treetop Hideaways: Treehouses for Adults by Philip Jodidio is published by Rizzoli priced £32.50