Saturday, April 26, 2008

Treehugger's Delight

After reading Hooked on Houses' post about treehouses, I was inspired to get myself to Longwood Gardens yesterday to look at their Nature's Castles exhibit of three treehouses. The first one I saw (and my favorite) was the Canopy Cathedral, a 589 square foot beauty about 10 feet off the ground recalling a Norwegian stave church, a medieval architectural style achieved by timber framing. Beautiful diamond-shaped windows and a wraparound balcony make you feel one with the surrounding landscape.

These houses are all tree-friendly. They are not anchored to the trees themselves, nor do they interfere with the root systems or free movement of the trees. They are built using a pin system that stablizes the treehouse without doing any damage.

The second house is the Birdhouse, the highest at more than 20 feet above ground.

You can see how closely they are built to the trees, yet are not attached to them.
Finally, there is Lookout Loft which is accessible by ramps even to people in wheelchairs. The thing that intrigued me about this one was its artistry. There are over 75 feet of ramps girded by a railing that is a subtle work of art.

See how each center insert is a different design.

It also has a built-in skylight that a tree grows right through.

Discreet signs tell you that the treehouses were all built of reclaimed wood from old mills, factories and barns.

The structures are amazing and provide a rare opportunity to set foot in a place most of us only dreamed about having as kids.


Hooked on Houses said...

I LOVE this. How gorgeous and cool! Thanks for sharing it. I'm going to add a link to my Treehouse post for people to come here and read yours. -Julia

Classy Mommy said...

love this post and the beautiful pics. visiting from sarah freymoyer's website.