Treetop Architecture

Jenni Quach | Blog 9

Imagine looking out of a window only to see that you are met with a hundred foot fall. It would not be pleasant for those with acrophobia, but for others, they will notice that there is a beautiful horizon line embellished with trees. This is an experience associated with treetop architecture; in other words, an extreme tree house. It is composed of a wooden exterior atop of a live tree which allows individuals to live in elevated homes that are supported by the branches of a tree. Treetop architecture is beneficial to its occupants and highly adaptable in its environment.

Tree house owners can directly benefit from the surrounding environment. Depending on the location, the home could be surrounded by varying amounts of fruit trees which would provide a readily available food supply for tree house owners. On the other hand, the surrounding trees could be infested by termites or any other insects that pose a threat to the tree’s health and the tree house occupants. Therefore, it is crucial that the location of the tree house is carefully surveyed to ensure the occupants a safe home.

The environment surrounding the tree house will determine the materials used for it. In other words, the home is composed of local materials. It would make the tree house adaptable based on climate because plants can only grow in environments in which they can survive. For example, if it was in a rainy area then the tree house would be capable of handling rain. Additionally, if the region is hot and dry, then there would be systems of shade to lessen the sun’s rays and thermal mass to control temperature. The adaptability of the tree houses makes for an ideal living space because of its locally used materials.

In order to apply treetop architecture in today’s age, treetop architecture would have to exist in areas with tall, strong trees. It can be assumed that such trees are only available in untouched and isolated parts of the world. Essentially, it would really benefit those who enjoy life away from digital technology and civilization.


Reumaux, Jean-francois. “Treetop Architecture.” The Gibbon Experience. N.p., 2015. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <;.

Photo Credit:

Treetop architecture. Digital image. The Gibbon Experience. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2016. <;.




  1. bmwarch

    The idea that tree houses would be ideal in untouched isolated parts of the world is one that is somewhat unsettling when you consider the consequences of recent human habitation and its relative lack of respect to the natural environment around it. The needs of humans have already destroyed 80% of the world’s forests causing countless number of species extinctions and endangerment (national geographic). The possible adoption of tree architecture may be a way for us to focus on regenerating an environment that may be able to affects the wildlife around us positively if we are careful to not disturb already thriving ecosystems.

    Without hearing specific placements, it would be interesting to hear what you consider to be the place you should put a tree house and whether that is something that you find an already existing tree and occupy it or plan an entire tree village/town regrown from the ground up on abandoned human landscapes.

    When you build in a tree in existing forest spaces you risk disturbing the ecosystem of that tree by using up a layer of it that was originally home to other species that inhabit that secluded forest. The number of species that can live within that tree layer far surpasses the one family that will be moving in, not to mention the forest critters produce far less waste products and environmental damage than people do. That is why I would propose a further consideration man-made tree cities that can regenerate environments that are polluted or otherwise have no real use because of human activity.

    Trees are a valuable resource and instead of going out and using up ones that already exists there may be more merit to taking a fast-growing sturdy tree species and rehabilitating an environment that will serve as a home for people. Those new homes will be a place to store all the rising carbon that we are outputting and creating habitat for forest species whose homes have been annihilated by human settlement. This obviously is a very different theme from the secluded in a forest away from human society, but may provide better large scale alternatives that are less damaging to the environment.
    -Blake Weaver

  2. christinefantle

    Christine Fantle – Blog Post 10
    There is a tree house in the Lake Calhoun area that I always used to drive past when I was younger. It was huge, three stories, and looked just like a normal house someone picked up and stuck in a tree. I always thought it would be the coolest thing to live in a house like that. “Cool” factor aside, I think that the idea of building houses in trees could be a very beneficial idea – if done right. I agree with Blake’s comment, that we should not be building in uninhabited places and further destroying ecosystems. However, I think that adding houses like this to over populated areas could be a good out of the box solution. Many populated areas have trees large enough to support an elaborate tree house fit to be a permanent home for someone. The tree house I mentioned may not have people living in it, but it has the potential to become that, even being in the middle of the city. This could even be the next “tiny house” phase for people wanting a little bit more space.

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