Focus: The Treehouse

Once thought of as a whimsical childhood play spot, the Treehouse has evolved into a contemporary design trend featured in hotels and unique Air B&B locations around the world. Constructed at height around a tree or within a forest, these designs are often formed around a concept of ‘tech free’ relaxation and ‘off-the-grid’ escapism. Treehouse designs are frequently simplistic yet surreal and truly immersive in order to attain that feeling of majestic wonderment. 

Here I list 10 of the most stunning and exceptional Treehouse designs:  

1. Residential Treehouse by Malan Vorster 

A distinctive one-bedroom home nestled in amongst the trees in Cape Town, this treehouse truly feels like a luxurious sanctuary. Structural circular shapes contrast with the red cedar battens that align the building, allowing privacy looking in yet when inside still give you fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. The interior feels comfortable yet stylish with modern inspired furnishings, lots of warm wood panelling and glimmers of indulgence in the brass details. 

2. Yoki Treehouse by Will Beilharz

This treehouse embodies eco-friendly design and natural materials, which should come as no surprise as the designer, Will Beilharz, is the founder of Artis Tree – a sustainable focused tourism company. Yoki Treehouse sits high above a flowing creek in Texas and has a welcoming yet unassuming interior with minimal furniture and wooden walls. Less is more within this informal yet reassuring hideout. 

3. Tree Snake House by Luis and Tiago Rebelo de Andrade

A highly extraordinary architectural structure, this treehouse has been designed to resemble a snake slithering out from amongst the trees. Sitting at a lower level, this building is long and narrow with a purist interior – it is the outside of the treehouse that makes a statement. Formed with timber and slate tiles that appear like reptile scales, this unconventional treehouse is sustainably built with solar panels, water recycling and low energy levels. 

4. The Mirrorcube at Treehotel by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

Treehotel in Sweden features 6 separate treehouses, secluded and peculiar in their own way, with designs such as the UFO saucer, Bird’s Nest and this – the Mirrorcube. Concealed within a pine forest, the aluminium reflective glass acts as camouflage within the thick dense trees and a bright interior by way of untreated plywood and birch. A memorable and outstanding experience that allows rest and peace away from the stress of daily life.

5. Residential Treehouse by Jacobs Chang

A sleek and sophisticated 360 sq. ft home hidden away in a remote forest in upstate New York, this design feels almost Nordic in style. The black timber outside combined with the neutral white indoors feels distinctly modern. Large floor to ceiling windows overlooks the silent forest, whilst the inside of the treehouse features a cosy log fire and modest furnishings. 

6. Origin Treehouse by Atelier Lavit

A 250 sq. ft cabin style treehouse built as part of the Chateau de Raray Hotel in France, this slight yet daring structure blends ease and purpose via modern design. The external timber has been fashioned to create a criss cross form resembling a bird’s nest, whilst the inside feels surprisingly spacious due to the whitewashed wood and simplistic furnishings. 

7. Treehouse Hotel Rooms by Peter Pichler Architecture

These striking individual treehouse hotel rooms line the edge of the Italian Dolomites forest and are iconic due to their signature steep pointed roofs. Sustainably built from cladding that is locally sourced, the blackened larch and fir wood teamed with floor to ceiling windows produce an ultramodern and futuristic feel.

8. Birdhut by Studio North

A diminutive 100 sq. ft treehouse has been designed to look and function just like a bird house. Located in the Canadian Windermere forest, there is just enough room for 2 people to sleep in this unique A-frame structure. The treehouse includes red cedar shingles as well as planks reclaimed from an old cabin deck. Circular windows give the hut its recognizable bird house image which merges with the adjacent landscape, truly symbolizing the notion of rural escapism. 

9. Pigna by Claudio Beltrame

An adorable set of pinecone shaped cabins with panoramic views of the Italian Alps, these treehouses are available as holiday lets and are essentially the epitome of a tranquil naturalistic getaway. The curved shape feels like a safe cocoon in which you can retreat, and the interiors embrace natural materials, a white palette with cosy cowhide rugs with sheepskin throws. 

10. The 7th Room at Treehotel by Snøhetta

Another stunning treehouse from the Treehotel collection, the 7th Room is suspended 10m in the air and features blackened timber cladding with pale birch plywood inside. The 590 sq. ft space hosts a bedroom, lounge, bathroom and patio ‘net’ with a Scandinavian inspired interior. A monochrome palette with light walls, moody grey window treatments and dark wooden stools ensure the treehouse feels modish, contemporary and chic.