9 Incredible Treehouses

29 Mar

Is there any child out there who doesn’t long for a personal little sanctuary — a private place to call his or her own? The treehouses featured here are built out of various materials and in varying configurations, sizes and shapes. Some have their feet firmly planted on the ground, while others have trees growing right through the middle. Despite all this diversity, they do have something in common: Each one is going to bring out the kid in you.

eclectic landscape Treehouse - Thornbury, ON

Doug Abbott of Village Builders says that safety was foremost on his mind when he took on this project, which sits among a small grouping of cedar trees. “I wanted it to be safe for children of all ages, and it was built so that a deck surrounds two sides of the building with a railing, allowing them to play inside or outside,” he says.
In a nod to the dumbwaiter systems of the past, “We also extended the ridge of the building out over the deck to allow for a rope and pulley system,” Abbott notes, “so that the children could haul their toys in a basket from the ground up to the deck and not have to carry them up the steps.”
eclectic exterior by Shelter Design Studio, LLC

Jason Hayburn of Shelter Design Studio says that this treehouse was built for the grandchildren of a couple who live on a wooded lot. Located in a natural clearing, it’s constructed out of cedar and has reclaimed windows and a standing-seam metal roof. “The owner wanted the treehouse to look like a quaint cottage in the woods,” says Hayburn. “It has an L-shaped floor plan with a half-round deck that connects the two legs. The kids enjoy running up the stairs on one side and then down the stairs on the other.”
modern kids by Bjon Pankratz

This treehouse was designed and built by Bjon Pankratz for his children. His wife, photographer Laurel Pankratz, documented the process. “I always wanted a treehouse as I was growing up and never got the chance to have one,” she writes.
modern kids by Bjon Pankratz

The Pankratz treehouse gives off a warm, welcoming glow at night.
traditional kids by Bill Fry Construction - Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.

“Every little boy needs a tree fort, especially a builder’s son,” says Bill Fry of Bill Fry Construction. Fry used redwood, because it will fade to the color of the adjacent trees. “All the doors and shutters close to keep our outdoor friends — squirrels, racoons, possums — out.”
He also proudly notes that, “this unassuming house has become the world headquarters of the Tree Fort Republic, an association of neighborhood boys with its own governing body and newspaper.”
eclectic kids by Kerrie L. Kelly

Now this is a truly happy home. Interior designer Kerrie L. Kelly teamed up with Pulte Homes to create a treehouse made of metal, foam and wood that was raffled off to benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County, near Sacramento, California.
“The house sold for $36,000, with all of the proceeds benefitting the charity,” says Kelly. “Meanwhile, one lucky kid had the structure reinstalled in their very own backyard. The entrance is a ladder, and the exit is a slide that comes out of the side of the tree into the softscape below.”
eclectic kids by Kerrie L. Kelly

The interior of Kelly’s treehouse features hardwood floors, window coverings with hardware made of branches and inspirational sayings painted on the walls.
modern landscape by Keith Willig Landscape Services, Inc.

“What I’ve found in raising four boys and building treehouses is that kids love big boxes as much as the gifts that come in big boxes,” says landscape architect Keith Willig. “Meaning they like it simple and in a way that allows them to use their imagination. So we typically use recycled material, old fence boards, windows and doors.”  Surprisingly, it took two workers only three days to build this inventive structure.
modern landscape by Keith Willig Landscape Services, Inc.

This is another project by Willig. “I like to interject a little midcentury-modern asymmetry into the design and then let the kids tell me what they want in the way of features — for example, a fireman’s pole, pirate flag, zip line, net, trap doors, et cetera.” This multilevel treehouse took longer to build than the previous one, requiring about 10 days of labor by three workers.
eclectic kids by Lloyd Architects

Some treehouses are built with more than just fun and games in mind. “This one belongs to a great family with a special-needs daughter,” says architect Warren Lloyd. “It occupies the loft level of the house, and the trunk conceals a residential lift that ensures the daughter has access to all parts of the house.” He adds that many elements, like the branches nested under the deck, were the owners’ ideas. The tree trunk was framed in wood, and the branches are a steel frame. Both were finished with epoxy resin and synthetic materials.
traditional landscape Wisteria on Atherton fort

This beauty looks almost like a work of art. The caption attached to the photo by landscape designer Karen Aitken pretty much says it all: “Wisteria on Atherton fort.”
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Design, Hobbies


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