A well designed treehouse is delicately placed into a tree, with upmost sensitivity to the tree itself. Such a treehouse can give dignity to the tree, adding character, making the combination of tree and house a spectacle, which combined are more impressive than either are by themselves. But more so than that, a treehouse is a place for adventure and romance; a fairytale escape to connect with nature. A stunning piece of architecture which ennobles the tree, protecting it for generations and improving it’s quality of life, because, by living in a treehouse one engages in a symbiotic partnership with the tree – the tree gives the arboreal dweller shelter, safety and a magical space to live which fuels creativity. In return the dweller looks after the tree, maintaining it throughout the seasons, tending to it’s needs, inspecting it for disease and rot, and pruning it when necessary to ensure that the tree is as healthy as it can be.
We have carefully compiled this list of top treehouses from around the world, with the intention to incite inspiration and wonder in builders, architects, designers, tree lovers, arborists, nature enthusiasts, artists, and everyone intrigued about the idea of living differently. From cutting edge architectural design, to state of the art treetop construction solutions we’re going to take you through some of the most beautiful canopy creations that exist today, built by advanced and innovative treehouse teams. If you wish to find out more about any of them, or their other work, just follow the links provided.
Without any further ado, and in no particular order, here are some of the worlds top treehouses…
Whollemi Wilderness Retreat – Australia
Photo: Jochen Spencer
Set amongst 600 acres of Blue Mountains wilderness, in New South Wales, Australia, is this beautiful ‘secret treehouse’. The cabin esque feel and gorgeous craftsmanship immediately catch the eye, and the combination of rustic natural woodwork against the open glass facade makes for a truly authentic mountain hideout. The secret treehouse comes complete with a kitchenette, queen sized bed, wood fireplace and breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains Rainforest. The cabins which Whollemi build utilise eco-friendly waste management systems to preserve the surrounding natural environment.
Photos: Jochen Spencer
Finca Bellavista Treehouse Community & Eco Lodge – Costa Rica
Photo: Knut Amtenbrink
Finca Bellavista is an entirely off-grid, sustainable community located in 600 acres of secondary and primary rainforest in Costa Rica. The community is a sanctuary for nature lovers where people can fully immerse themselves in the magic of the rainforest. One of Finca’s main ethics is to live a low impact lifestyle, and they believe that treehouses enable this. By having structures off the ground the ecology and terrestrial migration of animals is not disturbed. The majority of food consumed in their community is grown on-site, and the carbon footprint of the community is minimised wherever possible.
Photos: Jeremy Papasso (left) & Matt Berglund (right)
The treehouse pictured above is named El Castillo Mastate. A treehouse with a master bedroom perched 90 feet off the forest floor which features a full kitchen and living area, hot water shower, suspension bridge, and two balconies. Aside from the perfection of craftsmanship, what really makes Finca’s treehouses so special is the breathtaking backdrop…
Photos courtesy of James Lozeau
The Mirrorcube treehouse – Sweden
Photo: Peter Ludstrom
Introducing the unmistakably unique Mirrorcube treehouse. This 4 x 4 x 4 metre box clad in mirrored glass is simply a marvel to look at. Constructed using a lightweight aluminium structure hung around a pine tree, the exterior reflects the surroundings and the sky, creating a camouflaged refuge. Inside is living space for two people: a double bed, bathroom, living room and roof terrace.
Photos: Peter Ludstrom
Treehotel, the designers of the Mirrorcube have also built many other modern treehouse installations such as; the UFO, the 7th room and the bird’s nest (pictured below), all of which offer people an opportunity to experience the pristine nature of Sweden’s outdoors in space age style…
Photos: Peter Ludstrom
The enchanted forest – Canada
Enchanted forest… Well, the title says it all
The gibbon experience, Laos
The Gibbon Experience is a tourism-based conservation project mainly known for its canopy set-ups featuring jaw dropping tree houses all inter-connected with daring zip lines. There can’t be any better way to experience the canopy and connect with your inner ape – one can zoom around, high above the jungle, from treehouse to treehouse, and if you’re lucky enough you might spot a gibbon swinging by. Each house is thoughtfully crafted into the trees, and utilises local sustainable materials such as leaf roofs.
Treehouse Point – Washington, USA
Photo: Adam Crowley
Tucked away in a lush coniferous forest of Washington is the Upper Pond treehouse (pictured above) along with many other treehouses at the Treehouse Point. The builders, Nelson Treehouse, use big beams and implants to place their platform up in the trees where they begin to work their magic. The traditional style of these treehouses relies on wonderful carpentry and gorgeous interior furnishing, enabling guests to get cushy even during the coldest months of the year.
Photos: Adam Crowley
Swiss Family Robinson
The wonderful treehouse built by the shipwrecked Robinsons in the 1960 movie is fuel for childhood imagination – the enormous tree, the waterwheel turning in a little creek, and the excitement of the jungle all around. Although the treehouse does not exist anymore as it was taken down after the movie, this one will surely stand out as a top treehouse for ever.
The Ministers Treehouse – Tennessee, USA
Located just outside of Crossville, Tennessee, this mammoth 97 foot tall treehouse and church creation is partially supported by 7 oak trees. Technically more of an around-the-tree house, with many ground supports, it’s widely known as the Ministers treehouse because for fourteen years, Minister Burgess has been adding to it, spending only $12,000 and never running out of material. Over that period, the treehouse has grown to monumental proportions. It contains 80 rooms, and stretches up to five stories. It’s a crying shame that the Tennessee Fire Marshall closed down the building until further notice, despite the ministers claims that there are no building codes for treehouses.
The big beach in the sky – China
What a name for this epic treehouse. The big beach in the sky stands atop a towering tamarind tree above the sand dunes and warm waters of the South China Sea. The house, accessible only by suspension bridge, sleeps six comfortably on two levels and a loft. Reminiscent of the Swiss family Robinson’s style of adventure treetop castles, this one is a masterpiece.
The Lodge experience, Scotland
A specular view and venue at Scotland’s lodge experience… Some place to get married.
Restaurant treehouse – Auckland, New Zealand
The redwoods treehouse is a truly striking organic pod-shaped structure, built ten metres high in a redwood tree. It serves as a venue for various functions; weddings and parties. Access to the treehouse is provided by an elevated treetop walkway.
Free spirit Spheres – Vancouver Island, Canada
Nestled in the branches of a cedar and maple tree grove is Eve, an ingenious treetop abode. Eve’s creator, Tom Chudleigh, named these suspended orbs ‘free spirit spheres’. This particular sphere is only 9 foot in diameter and has two 44 inch diameter windows. They’re only really meant for a single person, but if you wanna get real cosy you can just about fit one other in the bed.
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