10 Surreal Tree Houses That Will Make Your Childhood Dreams Come True

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
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Who says that grown-ups can’t have tree house goals?

When the demands of daily life become too much to bear, a special hideout in the sky can be your place to escape, cool off, or brainstorm in peace. Just one look at these inspirational mini-getaways and you may find yourself looking for a sturdy tree to scale.

Designed by acclaimed Big Sur architect Mickey Muennig, The Post Ranch Inn consists of a series of freestanding units that showcase Muennig's contemporary organic vision. The tree houses feature Cor-ten panels.

Designed by acclaimed Big Sur architect Mickey Muennig, The Post Ranch Inn consists of a series of freestanding units that showcase Muennig's contemporary organic vision. The tree houses feature Cor-ten panels.


Dedon’s Hanging Lounger, designed by Daniel Pouzet and Fred Frety can be an instant mini-tree house escape. All you need is the right tree to hang it from. 

Dedon’s Hanging Lounger, designed by Daniel Pouzet and Fred Frety can be an instant mini-tree house escape. All you need is the right tree to hang it from. 

Photo: Dedon


Treehotel’s 7th room in Sweden is a cabin that’s propped up in a pine canopy where guests can book a stay. To reduce the load of the trees and minimize the building's impact on the forest, 12 columns support the cabin. One tree stretches up through the net, emphasizing the connection to the outdoors.

Treehotel’s 7th room in Sweden is a cabin that’s propped up in a pine canopy where guests can book a stay. To reduce the load of the trees and minimize the building's impact on the forest, 12 columns support the cabin. One tree stretches up through the net, emphasizing the connection to the outdoors.

Photo by Johan Jansson
Japanese architect Takashi Kobayashi of the Tree House People has been declared a "tree house master" by Design Made in Japan. Seamlessly integrating nature and design, this tiny tree house is certainly not just for children. 

Japanese architect Takashi Kobayashi of the Tree House People has been declared a "tree house master" by Design Made in Japan. Seamlessly integrating nature and design, this tiny tree house is certainly not just for children. 

Photo Courtesy of Design Made in Japan
Inspired by the principle of Biomimicry, Free Spirit Spheres’ goal is to "create new ways of living that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul." Based outside of Vancouver, the company specializes in tiny spherical tree houses that are works of art. You can even book an escape to spend the night in one at their forest hotels!

Inspired by the principle of Biomimicry, Free Spirit Spheres’ goal is to "create new ways of living that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul." Based outside of Vancouver, the company specializes in tiny spherical tree houses that are works of art. You can even book an escape to spend the night in one at their forest hotels!

Photo Courtesy of Free Spirit Spheres
With the view from the Estate Bungalow in Matugama, Sri Lanka—designed by Narein Perara—you might just climb in and never want to leave.<br>

With the view from the Estate Bungalow in Matugama, Sri Lanka—designed by Narein Perara—you might just climb in and never want to leave.

Photo by Malaka Weligodapola / TASCHEN, as published in Cabins, 2014
"I had to let the trees decide how the tree house would be,"explains Lukasz Kos, a Toronto-based designer and cofounder of the architecture firm, Testroom. The low-impact 4Treehouse is a lattice-frame structure that respects and responds to the nature surrounding it, appearing to levitate above the forest floor of Lake Muskoka, Ontario.

"I had to let the trees decide how the tree house would be,"explains Lukasz Kos, a Toronto-based designer and cofounder of the architecture firm, Testroom. The low-impact 4Treehouse is a lattice-frame structure that respects and responds to the nature surrounding it, appearing to levitate above the forest floor of Lake Muskoka, Ontario.

Photo by Lukasz Kos
At only 172 square feet, this tiny tree house in the hills of Brentwood, California was designed by Rockefeller Partners Architects, Inc. and serves as a refuge, gallery, and guest cottage.

At only 172 square feet, this tiny tree house in the hills of Brentwood, California was designed by Rockefeller Partners Architects, Inc. and serves as a refuge, gallery, and guest cottage.

Photo: Eric Staudenmaier
A little more on the traditional side, this tiny backyard tree house by Sticks and Bricks makes you want to disappear for a few hours with a pot of tea and a good book.&nbsp;

A little more on the traditional side, this tiny backyard tree house by Sticks and Bricks makes you want to disappear for a few hours with a pot of tea and a good book. 

Photo Courtesy of Sticks and Bricks
This 128-square-foot "tree house" outside Baltimore was designed by architects Laurie Stubb and her husband Peter. "The outdoors here are a big playground," she says. "We had always wanted to build something for the girls that looked natural." So, in the summer of 2008, they designed this structure both for the children and for themselves. "We wanted it to have a use after they're gone—a place we can sit in and read or have a drink and entertain company."

This 128-square-foot "tree house" outside Baltimore was designed by architects Laurie Stubb and her husband Peter. "The outdoors here are a big playground," she says. "We had always wanted to build something for the girls that looked natural." So, in the summer of 2008, they designed this structure both for the children and for themselves. "We wanted it to have a use after they're gone—a place we can sit in and read or have a drink and entertain company."

Jennifer Baum Lagdameo

@jennifer_lagdameo

Jennifer Baum Lagdameo is a freelance design writer who has lived in Washington DC, Brooklyn, Tokyo and Manila. She is currently exploring the Pacific Northwest from her home base in Portland, OR. Follow her on Instagram @jenniferlagdameo

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