As kids, we all dreamed of having a treehouse, the ultimate hideaway from parents. I was lucky enough to have a small treehouse in the back garden. At the time it felt like a castle, but it was hastily knocked together with my brothers using rotting plywood and a little tarpaulin. It was so hazardous I’m surprised I was ever allowed to use it or survive its use in one piece.
There is something about the desire for treehouses that never really leaves us. Perhaps it’s nostalgia – a connection with our childhoods or maybe it’s the nature and wildlife that surrounds them. Who knows.
Fast forward a few decades and treehouse design has taken a big leap into the luxury. Grownups can now stay in some spectacular canopy hideaways, reliving some of that childhood magic, but in serious comfort.
Designed to look like a floating Japanese lantern, the 4treehouse is hidden amongst the fir trees around Lake Muskoka. The structure was created in such a way that it minimizes the impact on the four trees that support it. The three levels equates to over 3,000 sq ft of living space.
The Swedish know how to build a good treehouse. Built by architects Tham & Videgård to unsurprisingly resemble a gigantic birds nest. Entrance is through a retractable staircase. Once inside, the style changes to sleek wooden clad walls and plenty of space for a family of small group.
After retiring from software development at 26, Joel Allen became a carpenter. When he had a project or two under his belt, he created this magical treehouse which has since been featured in many design magazines and websites around the world.
The first project of o2 Treehouse designers, the treehouse “was chosen because it highlights the symbiotic relationship between humans and trees, which process carbon dioxide to provide us with oxygen.”
The Beach Rock treehouse was designed by a former Japanese clothing buyer, now turned treehouse designer. The high canopy level construction of plexiglass and wood was created as a place for rest and relaxation away from the city.
Built entirely from reclaimed work, this enormous 100ft structure is supposedly the largest treehouse in the world. It was constructed by a preacher who said God told him how he wanted it to look. It’s currently closed, but there are hopes for it to reopen in the future.
This three story treehouse is the tallest in British Columbia stretching 50ft up into the forest canopy. Resembling something from a Disney movie, the treehouse is hidden in the old Enchanted Forest in Canada’s Monashee Mountains.
This luxurious treehouse hides up in the Blue Mountains overlooking Bowen’s Creek Gorge and the surrounding rainforest. Amenities include a spa, kitchenette, fireplace and floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows through which the spectacular view can be fully appreciated.
This striking treehouse pod was commissioned by the Yellow Pages as part of a marketing campaign. Built 10m up in a redwood forest, the treehouse is accessed via a wooden walkway and is now used as a private function space for weddings and corporate events.
Suspended from the branches of a maple and cedar tree grove are the three spherical Free Spirit pods, Eve, Eyrn and Melody. These cosy pods on Vancouver Island’s coastal rainforest differ in size to accommodate singles, couples or triples. Amenities include electric heaters, a sofa, a small kitchenette and built in speakers.
Part of the Mirrorcube and Bird’s Nest collection in the forests of Sweden, the UFO treehouse is perhaps the wackiest on the list. Unlike the Bird’s Nest which sits harmoniously with the surrounding environment, the UFO was built to stand out. Built from durable composite materials, the modern interior can comfortably fit a small family.
Bird Apartment, Komoro, Japan
Created for the Ando Momofuku Center which promotes nature activities in the mountainous forests of Nagano prefecture. On one side there are 78 bird boxes, on the other there is a space from which visitors can see the nesting birdlife through peepholes.
This rustic treehouse village located in Costa Rica’s southern zone is a private sanctuary surrounded by forests, mountains and rivers. The accommodation was built to provide a place for humans to interact and learn about the canopy realm and rainforest ecosystem.
Built by architects Tham & Videgård, this super modern hideaway in the trees is camouflaged by the mirrored walls that reflect the surrounding forest. The four square m3 treehouse is contrasted from glass and birch and is one of a group of achingly beautiful modern treehouse structures.
The clean and minimal interior of the Teahouse Tetsu Treehouse, designed by architect Terunobu Fujimori, is complimented by the fantastical exterior which looks like something from a dream world. Visit the Teahouse Tesu at the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum near Hokuto City.
This luxury safari hotel has a set of individually designed treehouses, but arguably the most spectacular is the Chalkley Treehouse. This ultimate luxury bush bedroom was created as a place to watch the predators roam below from comfort and safety.
The Cabane Monbazillac at the Chateaux Dans les Arbres sits at the edge of the forest near Bergerac. This castle-like treehouse offers serious comfort for just two people. A spacious bedroom, a wrap-around terrace balcony with a Jacuzzi set into it and views over the castle of Biron.