A rickety platform in the backyard can no longer be called a tree house… not after seeing these. A real tree house is either a real house built in a tree, or a fantastical feat perched high in the tree tops. These gigantic and beautiful tree houses re-define the standard.
Which of these is not like the others? The 2nd and 3rd tree houses might seem real, but the first gives a new meaning to the phrase “concrete jungle.” With a trunk made entirely out of concrete, this Japanese restaurant gives visitors access via an elevator in the trunk. The largest of the three is Tarzan’s Tree House, a gorgeous, and sadly, artificial, creation at the Hong Kong Disneyland.
The largest tree house in the world, the Minister’s House is a 10 story structure in Tennessee that was built on the backs of 6 giant oak trees. The minister in question quoted divine intervention that compelled him to create the building. The second tree, not too shabby itself, is part of Treehouse Village Resort in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea.
Baumraum created the first featured structure as a playful guest room of an Austrian house. Most of the weight is borne by the surrounding trees, but the use of heavy stilts turns the structure into something much larger. Cedar Spire, a castle-like creation in Scotland, is a gorgeous example of fully integrating a fun structure around trees. Creator David Rasmussen is known for his wooden sculpture, and the occasional, amazing, tree house, like the one featured here. The main house is held aloft by several tree trunks, while an extension reaches out to nearby trees as well.
Tree House company Blue Forest comes up with some of the most gorgeous, and livable, tree houses in the world. These are not meant for backyard playdates; these structures are meant for full time living. Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania hosts the Canopy Cathedral, a two story church in a gorgeous natural setting.
This first fantastic tree house is located in British Columbia in the wild and awesome Enchanted Forest. Children must love spending a day playing around in a house that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. The second tree house seems impossibly high, and must be a great spot to get away from the world. Aforementioned German group Baumraum creates amazing tree houses that are incredibly sophisticated, like this one overlooking a fenced grassy plot.
The Yellow Treehouse, featured in these first two images, is an award-winning architectural feat (and restaurant) located in New Zealand. The tree house suspended with scaffolding is now completed, and is actually a Swedish tree hotel room. For nearly $600 a night, the woods can be enjoyed from an incredibly modern perch.