The original movie set for the Walt Disney picture
"Swiss Family Robinson" [Image source]
I grew up in an old, cream brick farmhouse built in the 1840s. Out in front was a massive oak tree. Its branches were wide-spread and gnarly directioned - perfect for a tree house. Unfortunately, it sat in the front yard along a busy street, so the tree house plan never came to fruition. But the magical idea -- encouraged by the 1960 film adaptation of the 1812 Johann David Wyss book, The Swiss Family Robinson -- never faded.
And I am not the only person captivated by the idea. Here are some images and links to a wonderful array of tree houses, some practical, some simply silly, and some, glorious!
The Minister's Tree House
Built by Horace Burgess over a 14-year period, the house's main tree is an 80-foot tall White Oak with a trunk diameter of approximately 12 feet. The house is 97 feet tall and employs six other trees as support pillars.
The Treehouse Chronicles
S. Peter Lewis, a writer, decided to build his authorial retreat up in the sky! His book, The Treehouse Chonicles: One Man's Dream of a Life Aloft is his report of the design and building of his 'office.' (Note: included is a 'treehouse chessboard' built just for the house.)
Images and information on Lewis' book can be found here.
Lewis' blog about the project is here.
The World's Largest Treehouse
Located in Northumberland County, UK, the Alnwick Garden treehouse is not too terribly high off the ground. A description from this website notes "This 6,000 square foot treehouse is comprised of walkways, cottages, shops, a restaurant, and play areas. It is even wheelchair accessible, and holds close to 1,000 people, so everyone can play." The images here are from the website as well.
Eric Z. Ayers' Treehouse
Eric Ayer and his Dad built a simple (4-story!) treehouse in Florida back in the 1980s. Eric reports on the impetus for the project and its meaning on his blog.
Free Spirit Spheres
(Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada)
The Free Spirit Spheres are a combination artist and spiritual retreat. [From the Free Spirit Spheres website]: "All About Spheres by Tom Chudleigh, Inventor, Manufacturer and Distributor of Free Spirit Spheres. The "Spherical Tree House" concept borrows heavily from sailboat construction and rigging practice. It's a marriage of tree house and sailboat technology. Wooden spheres are built much like a cedar strip canoe or kayak. Suspension points are similar to the chain plate attachments on a sailboat. Stairways hang from a tree much like a sailboat shroud hangs from the mast."
Images from the Free Spirit Spheres website.
To find more images of treehouses, search on the word treehouse on Google Images. To learn how to build your own treehouse, search on the words treehouse plans or treehouse design on Google.
ADDED INFO LINKS (2/10/2012):
- Pic & link re: latest book from treehouse guru Pete Nelson http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/new-treehouses-of-the-world/
- Hanging Tree Tents: http://www.drewapenaar.com/
- TreeHotel: http://www.treehotel.se/
- Amazon Tree Houses: http://www.amazontreehouses.com/