As children, we all dreamed of having a tree house—a secret hideaway to call our own—and as adults, many of us still do. But our fantasies of ramshackle planks and “no grown ups allowed” signs have been replaced by thoughts of more refined retreats among the trees—like The Mirrorcube by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter at the Treehotel in Sweden (pictured above). Here are more modern tree-house-inspired finds.
Someone Who Inspired Us
The Origin tree house in Raray, France—an octagon-shaped cabin built around a 100-year-old oak tree—took its inspiration from bird nests. “I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of birds to build their impregnable shelters,” architect and designer Marco Lavit of Atelier Lavit told Dezeen. “I wanted to rationalize the assembly logic of the branches and transpose this aesthetic with a new architectural approach.”
Add It to Your Wishlist
Here’s the next best thing to a tree house: the NESTREST from German outdoor-furniture brand Dedon. Like the Origin tree house, bird nests inspired this hanging lounger made of durable and breathable woven fibers. The inside comes with a circular mattress and several pillows, making it a more-luxurious take on the tree house of our childhood dreams.
Check It Out
Now on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the exhibition Into the Woods explores trees as a source of inspiration for artists. The show features 40 photographers—including Robert Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams—and explores how each represents trees in their work. “As a photographic subject, trees hold a fascinating duality,” the museum writes on its website. “Wild or cultivated, solitary or united, these contrasts offer photographers an abundance of possibilities.”
Know Your Stuff
Integrating a tree into the structure of your home—as Alterstudio Architecture did at the Lake View Residence pictured above—is both environmentally friendly and visually appealing. But before requesting your architect to do the same, you need to ask an arborist four questions about a tree’s root structure, insect colonies, the safety of the limbs and its care needs, according to Smitty’s Tree Service. “Your arborist can help you to understand the specific needs of your tree variety and help you to put together a care plan to ensure its continued good health,” Smitty’s writes.
At one of the most prestigious addresses in Carnegie Hill, the penthouse at 1115 Fifth Avenue exudes classic New York City elegance. The library/living area (photo above) was formally the ballroom of this J.E.R. Carpenter designed building. It features a golden painted domed ceiling made up of bird’s eye maple
Images in order of appearance: photograph courtesy of Treehotel; photograph by Marco Lavit Nicora courtesy of Atelier Lavit; image of the NESTREST via the Dedon website; Ansel Adams, Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958, © Ansel Adams, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum; photograph by Casey Dunn courtesy of Alterstudio Architecture.