20 Unbelievable Tree Houses We’re Pining Over

These spellbinding tree houses will bring your childhood dreams to life.

Few dwellings capture the imagination like tree houses—and when they're designed by talented architects, the effect is positively enchanting. These 20 tree houses pack in fantastical features ranging from bicycle-powered elevators to metal slides and built-in hammocks perfect for stargazing.

World of Living by Baumraum

This fascinating tree house was created for the World of Living show park, a space dedicated to displaying contemporary prefab home design. Located in Rheinau-Linx, Germany, the tree house rests on seven slanted larch support beams and features a round, futuristic shape.

Founded in 2003 by Andreas Wenning, the German design firm Baumraum has built over 50 perched spaces across the world, continuously offering clients of all ages an intimate and adventurous way to connect with nature. Each tree house built by the firm is entirely custom-designed, taking the site plan into account, as well as the wellbeing of the trees. To reduce impact at the site, the team prefabricates many of the houses, arranging them so that the surrounding trees’ roots aren’t harmed.

Austin Treehouse by Ryan Street Architects

Set atop stilts designed to resemble tree branches, the tree house is clad in reclaimed Douglas fir and mirrored panels that reflect the surroundings.

To create a tree house on their property, one Austin family looked to their daughter’s artwork for design inspiration. The project started out as a backyard playhouse for the couple’s two daughters—but then it took off and went above and beyond everyone’s wildest dreams.

Brisbane Treehouse by Phorm Architecture + Design

The triangular shape comes from the owners’ desire to not completely fill the backyard area, while also accommodating the stately, deciduous tree at the center of the space.

When Phorm Architecture + Design was asked to design a backyard extension for a young Australian couple, they were stepping into uncharted territory. Designed to be a "weekender in the backyard," the 452-square-foot tree house takes a grown-up approach to the classic children’s club house.

Upper Tree House by Jay Nelson

Woven into a stand of redwoods on Jason Titus and Nerija Sinkevičiūtė-Titus’s property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a tree house by San Francisco designer/artist Jay Nelson gives the couple and their three boys a new perspective on the forest.

This tree house, designed by Jay Nelson, is not like any tree house you grew up with. Weaving through a stand of redwoods, it carries all the inimitable charms of the San Francisco artist’s imaginative, woodsy, and weatherworn aesthetic. (His previous work includes a camper built on the back of a Subaru Brat and a small rough-hewn home on Kauai.) Made mostly of reclaimed wood, it looks like a ship lost in an ocean of trees.

Playa Viva by ArtisTree

On the Pacific coast in southern Mexico, ArtisTree created a tree house in an eco-resort called Playa Viva, where construction and sourcing of sustainable materials proved to be a challenge. They created a solution that included using an extensive amount of bamboo, local stone, and hand-held power tools to create a 700-square-foot, two-level tree house that offers impressive views of the ocean.

When it comes to designing tree houses, Texas-based ArtisTree looks to local, natural materials for both design inspiration and construction materials. Their unique tree houses, which are thoughtfully sited for breathtaking views of the landscape, combine sustainable features with hospitality design. They create escapes that are small in size, but boast a powerful connection to the local environment.

Flying Pigsty by Amir Sanei

The Flying Pigsty provides the perfect place for young boys–or pigs with wings–to wile away summer afternoons.

Those looking for a more down-to-earth option might consider wallowing in a pigsty, which is essentially what designer Amir Sanei constructed for his two sons. The cofounder of London-based Sanei Hopkins Architects, Sanei based the design on a "pig ark," a simple metal dome used to house pigs, which are abundant on farms surrounding his house in Suffolk.

4TREEHOUSE by Lukasz Kos

The 4TREEHOUSE features a futuristic illuminated facade that looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

The 4TREEHOUSE is a two-ton, 410-square-foot tree house suspended 20 feet off the ground from steel airline cables anchored to four tree trunks. Toronto-based architect Lukasz Kos says, "This was really a parameter-driven project. That is, I had to let the trees decide how the house would be."

Pinecone by O2 Tree House

The Pincecone tree house is accessed via a steep wooden ladder and a trap door that unfolds down from the top.

Oakland-based O2 Tree House uses steel, wood, and glass to create tiny pincecone-shaped homes that look like ornaments hanging from from the treetops. Best of all, they’re available for purchase, so you can create your own forest getaway.

Woodnest Treehouses by Helen & Hard Architects

Designed by Helen & Hard Architects, Woodnest is a pair of rentable dwellings suspended from living trees in Odda, Norway.

Helen & Hard Architects say the tree house design is "inspired by the Norwegian cultural traditions of vernacular timber architecture and a desire to experiment with the material potential of wood." The structure utilizes a central steel collar that wraps around the tree, and a series of glue-laminated timber ribs extend outward in a radial design.

Pigna Tree House by Claudio Beltrame

Located in the woods of Malborghetto Valbruna in the Italian Dolomite commune of Tarvisio, this egg-shaped tree house appears to hover in midair like a giant pinecone.

This egg-shaped wonder is located in Malga Priu, a mountain farmhouse retreat in Tarvisio, Italy. Claudio Beltrame and DomusGaia designed the tree house with three levels and a smooth, round facade that’s inspired by pine cones.

Free Spirit Spheres by Tom Chudleigh

"You really get the sense that you are just floating up there in a different world," remarks Tom Chudleigh, a designer and the founder of Free Spirit Spheres. 

Free Spirit Spheres are the ultimate wanderlust retreats. The spherical dwellings are suspended in midair, however they offer all the comforts of home—including electricity, appliances, and plumbing.

Bicycle Elevator Tree House by Ethan Schussler

Ethan Schussler built his first tree house at 12 years old. His tree house in Sandpoint, Idaho, sits 30 feet above the ground and can be accessed by an "elevator" consisting of a bicycle that, when pedaled, ascends a pulley system to the top.

Idaho native Ethan Schussler has been obsessed with tree houses since he was young. Although Schussler lives off the grid and pays little attention to pop culture, his tree house went viral when he uploaded a short clip of himself riding his "bicycle elevator" into the sky. The video has since reached 2.1 million views, and it has been picked up by major news outlets such as CNN and Fox News.

Qiyunshan Tree House by Bengo Studio

The exterior is vertically clad in timber to complement the spiraling design and surrounding red cedar trees.

Nestled in the forest next to Qiyun Mountain in China, Bengo Studio’s tree house hotel features staggering cantilevered rooms. Guests can mimic the experience of climbing through the surrounding cedar trees by exploring different vantage points across each of the stacked rooms. The hotel stands 118 feet tall, so it doesn’t exceed the height of the surrounding trees.

The Woodman’s Tree House by Guy Mallinson and Keith Brownlie

The Woodman’s Tree House stands interwoven into the landscape in Dorset as part of a larger luxury camping site.

If you’ve ever wanted to live like Tarzan, then this whimsical tree house in Dorset is for you. Designed by Guy Mallinson and Keith Brownlie, the tree house is thoughtfully planned with playful details from top to bottom. Atop the retreat you’ll find a hot tub, and down past the spiral staircase you’ll find a metal slide that takes you down to the ground level.

Tree House by Atelier Victoria Migliore

The deck of Atelier Victoria Migliore’s tree house in France has two swings attached.

This tree house in France by Atelier Victoria Migliore wraps itself around the surrounding pines. The charcoal exterior makes a strong statement, while playful features such as suspended nets and swings add a touch of whimsy.

Sustainability Tree House by Mithun

Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases that lead from the forest floor to the 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy.

Designed for the Boy Scouts of America, the Sustainability Tree House atop Mount Hope in West Virginia informs visitors about conservation and the environment. Even the staircases feature factoids to read while climbing the next level.

Treehotel by Snøhetta

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.

This Swedish getaway by Snøhetta offers towering views and a pine-printed base that conceals its appearance when viewed from below. A double-layered mesh net surrounded by glass walls provides the perfect spot for stargazing.

Yoki House by Will Beilharz

ArtisTree’s cabin towers 25 feet above a stream, and it’s anchored by ropes, chains, and cables.

This Texas tree house was inspired by the ravine that lies below. The Yoki House is named after the Hopi word for rain, and it incorporates a soaking tub with views of a babbling creek. "Water is life—one of our most precious resources, and ArtisTree tree houses are designed to let people experience nature’s resources more intimately," says designer Will Beilharz.

Quebrada House by UNarquitectura

"Quebrada House" translates to Ravine House and speaks to how the design was inspired by the landscape.

Chilean firm UNarquitectura designed the Quebrada House to stand on stilts, thus preserving the surrounding ecosystem. The home’s open living areas feature expansive windows that frame views of the surrounding foliage.

Inhabit Tree House by Antony Gibbons Designs

This quaint cabin operates completely off the grid with no internet access.

Sitting in the middle of a lush 14-acre property, the Inhabit Tree House offers the perfect weekend escape. The cabin’s angular form is meant to "contrast against the organic forms of the forest," says designer Antony Gibbon. The Inhabit Tree House is available to rent through AirBnB.

Related Reading:

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

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