Tree Houses . . . that are Super

For the cool price of $250,000 you can have this little beauty built for you in your own backyard. though for that much money you may want to put it in your front yard. Heck . . . it may be the house in the yard.

The photo comes from a story in Business Week, about Real Estate that Branches Out. It’s a nice read about the continuing popularity of building treehouse. The article focuses on the Daniel’s brothers . . . they’re doing nicley:

This year, the company has already overseen 10 six-figure projects, and expects to do about $6 million in revenue. Its efforts, along with those of a handful of other tree house designers that sprouted in the late 1990s, have recently opened the floodgates on an unexpected new luxury market.

Not bad for treehouses. The question is how do Designers fit into the niche. I would guess if you are spending that kind of money some folks are going to want a nice way to go back and forth from house to super treehouse. Or have a great landscape to look upon-I’m guessing here. But we are in the luxury market, and when we are in here-there are opportunities.

They constructed a 45-foot spire with cedar shingles, a copper turret, a side deck, two staircases with multilevel verandas, and a zip slide—all for the enjoyment of the youth. For the parents, they built a deck under the canopy of another nearby tree and adjoined the entire structure with a bridge. As a result, the adults can enjoy their roughly $90,000 investment in the company of friends while keeping a watchful eye on their kids.

Sounds to me like there should be a babbling brook running below.

super treehouse of futureFinally the super treehouse of the future. Apparently the future is here. Take a look at this:

Sybarite is under contract to develop at least three of these next-generation tree houses for clients in Arizona, Australia, and Italy. Made from 70% recycled materials, these prefabricated modular structures are fully livable “country homes” that can be adapted for a family of up to eight.


artist renderingThis is a tease of the artist rendering(conceptual) for the super treehouse of the future. A modular home. I was curious(naturally) about the Sybarite company. A company on the ‘cutting edge’ or beyond the cutting edge-it seems.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. “The question is how do Designers fit into the niche? “
    Quite nicely if you are in touch with your inner child, have imagination, design skill, construction knowledge and an inspired client.
    The way I view it , playhouses, tree houses, forts and fantasy hide-a-ways are structures that are responding to the surrounding environmental site conditions and the clients desires. … in other words, you are outlining a few of the prerequisites that describe being a landscape architectural designer.
    Who better than a skilled landscape designer to know how site a structure in the landscape, how to grade and terrace the site to get the most responsive action out of the building in relationship to the site and work with a wide variety of materials ?
    A well informed landscape designer will be familiar with the safety provisions required to make the area a relatively worry free safe place space for children to play, fall, roughhouse and sustain the occasional scrape and bruised knee.
    As designers we are already well versed in outdoor code and covernant safety compliance regulations so all we have to do from here on then is to create an inspiring and creative installation that will captivate the imaginations of our clients and their children.
    Isn’t that what we do every day , exceed the expectations of our clients ?

    What if I lost my inner-child in Juarez, 1976 several bottles of Mescal and several do . . . uh, whoa! . . . never mind. Michelle you hit the nail on the head. Have you been asked to do anything up into this luxury scale of treehouses? Though some Designers could be better at this part of your observation . . . As designers we are already well versed in outdoor code and covernant safety compliance regulations . . . but I agree with you we should be able to step into this kind of challenge-should it arise.

  2. Hello Rick,
    Yes, we’ve been asked and have complied with designing and building some fun play structures.
    I find the overall experience rewarding , especially when feeling the powerfully positive emotion of seeing and hearing how everybody in the family enjoys and uses the space.
    About a year and a half ago Taunton Press came to me and asked me to author a book on Outdoor Kid Playspaces.
    I spent a year writing the book and gathering the photography for it and now it sits on someones desk gathering dust.
    It is quite disappointing, but as I have learned from other authors it is not that uncommon.
    The most irritating part though is that my editor calls every 3 or 4 months and says the book is being reveiewed again by some new editorial entity and that to be prepared for it to go into print.
    I’ve experienced this ‘fake out’ phone call one too many times now so I am not holding my breath.
    On the positive side of the authoring experience, I did get to meet and see some outrageously wonderful kids space – play space yards and gardens.

    If you have the chance to do some web surfing you might enjoy looking at Barbara Butlers website . She is a playhouse designer here in Northern California and has a wonderful flair with color and imagination.


  3. Interesting. Makes the scrap planks we nailed up in the neighbors’ woods as kids look like… well, scrap planks nailed up in the neighbors’ woods. *grin* But then, we weren’t in the market for treehouses that would cost 3x my current yearly salary.

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