Places: A Tree House In The Backyard

Article Posted By: Jae Warren

of The Home Depot

Image of Harads glass tree house

Image via Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter

If you were lucky enough as a kid to have a tree house in the backyard, you probably spent hours there, pretending it was a fort, a magic castle, a spaceship, or anything else you wanted it to be. The magic of a tree house remains with us as adults. The very sight of a tree house that can instantly transport us back to childhood memories of long summers spent at play.

Well, it’s a good thing some of us never grow up, and haven’t stopped imagining all the different ways you could enjoy spending time in a tree house. Would you have ever dreamed up a glass tree house with a 360° view of surrounding woods? Didn’t think so – nor would we, but architects at the Swedish firm Tham & Videgård Arkitekter came up with the brilliant idea to build one that looks so spectacular it hardly seems real.

That tree house, seen above, looks nothing like one you’d might find in a typical backyard. It’s the Harad’s Tree Hotel in northern Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle. It’s suspended in air, supported primarily by a tree that is an integral part of it’s structure, and it requires minimal ground support. That meets our minimum definition for a proper tree house, plus it’s ridiculously cool.

Take a minute to think about what fun you could have in your own backyard tree house as you scroll through the rest of the images we found.

Image of the Tree House at Pitchford

Image via Financial Times

Folks have been playing in backyard tree houses for a very long time. Here’s oldest and most famous tree houses in the world, Tree House at Pitchford, located on the Pitchford Estate in Shrewsbury, England, which was built sometime in the mid-eighteenth century. Queen Victoria is even rumored to have taken tea in this Tudor style tree house dwelling [Garden Design].

Image of Tadashi Kawamata's Tree house art installation

Image via Local Ecologist

Tree houses make good art (kinda)?  Tadashi Kawamata‘s tree house art installation was sponsored by sponsored by the Madison Square Park Conservancy in 2008. Purportedly, the work represents the artists’ interest in “the architecture of shelter and of the insertion of private objects into public spaces as a method of renegotiating the meaning of both [Local Ecologist].”

Huh? We just want to know why he made them in so no one could climb into one. Pity.

Image of Tentsile tree house

Image via Inhabitat

Remember our definition for a tree house: suspended in air with the support of a tree and minimal ground support. That means we can consider this hammock/tent hybrid from Tentsile a portable tree house.

Image of 4Tree House

Image via Dwell

Home office? Guest house? Man cave? A tree house like this two story architectural marvel hovering just above the forest floor in Lake Muskoka, Ontario could probably accomodate all of these wishes and some.

Image of a kids tree house

Image: Photo by Michaed Nyffeler via Kearney Hub

If you build it they’ll have fun. We found this great photo on the Kearney Hub site. It says better than all the words we’ve used why tree houses are such special places. As you can see, all you need is lumber, your power tools and a little imagination to create some awesome memories. Check out a post our Community Forums for a post about building a tree house to help get you started.

And be sure to check out more cool tree houses on our Places board on Pinterest.

Our Places series on the Apron Blog looks at the types of decor, materials and layouts that make the places we live beautiful, comfortable and interesting.