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Greatest Tree House Ever!
August 22, 2009 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Who has the greatest tree house ever? Architect Terunobu Fujimori in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Or Jacob, from Nowheresville, USA?
posted by vronsky (33 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
camerawork a little rough in Jacob link, but worth it if you can make it to the end.
posted by vronsky at 1:33 PM on August 22, 2009


I can't.
posted by RavinDave at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2009


Facilities in the next tree over is genius.
posted by carsonb at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's no way I'd ever go into that first one. That thing's a death trap!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:41 PM on August 22, 2009


blair tree house project
posted by geos at 1:49 PM on August 22, 2009


There's no way I'd ever go into that first one. That thing's a death trap!

That's the great thing about being a kid: No building codes!

Anyway, come on, it probably won't fall over
posted by delmoi at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2009


Terunobu Fujimori...likes to draw inspirations from sources as widely removed from contemporary Japan as possible.*

Like Baba Yaga's house? That teahouse could carry a witch a long way (and kind of gives me the willies, just a bit). Overall, though, his aesthetic is interesting.

Still waiting on Jacob video to load.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:52 PM on August 22, 2009


a snapshot would be a million times better than a 6 minute video that never shows you what the damn thing looks like.
posted by the bricabrac man at 1:54 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great treehouse? or Greatist treehouse?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:56 PM on August 22, 2009


tbm, the damn thing looks like a pile of scrapwood suspended high in a tree by a tornado of initiative.
posted by Pliskie at 1:58 PM on August 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's like watching Michael Bay's home movies.
posted by RavinDave at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2009


I prefer the New Zealand Yellow Treehouse to any of the above, but neither the posted links nor the Yellow Treehouse meet my personal, highly idiosyncratic definition of a proper tree house.

To my way of thinking, a "proper" tree house should be: 1) well-built of natural materials; 2) just large enough for one or two people; 3) unobtrusive enough to be almost unnoticeable from the ground in summer; 4) located in the middle of a forest; 5) accessible only by a rope ladder or interior stairwell in the tree trunk; and, 6) constructed by a castaway, knight errant, or implausibly skilled feral child, for accommodation of same. Needless to say, IHNHAPTH (I have never had a proper tree house).
posted by timeo danaos at 2:16 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


...guests must climb up the freestanding ladders propped up against one of the two chestnut trees supporting the whole structure. The trees were cut and brought in from the nearby mountain to the site.
So they're dead trees. Like telephone poles, or lumber. Somebody's missing the whole point of a treehouse. That said, it will probably outlast the kid's chipboard nightmare by a lot of years.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:29 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


weve had more than 5 people up here and all jumping at once it was amazingly strong

I want to be his best friend.


Still, though... this is an example of a rickety wooden structure that adults would make, without building codes.
posted by not_on_display at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The kid's sheer joy was the best part.
posted by Pants! at 2:43 PM on August 22, 2009


Treehouses are, like kissing booths and vacuum-cleaner salesmen, inventions of comic strips and TV sitcoms. I've never seen an actual treehouse, though I'm sure that some of you who grew up in Scarsdale and Lake Forest are going to post about your happy childhoods with your custom-built treehouses now.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:47 PM on August 22, 2009


not_on_display, I read that note and immediately thought, "Of course he did." If I was his mom there would've been an edict banning him from that plywood, tetanus-laden thing, although I'd secretly be very proud of it all, especially about the doorbell.

(Exactly how "free" was that wood, though?)
posted by Countess Elena at 2:50 PM on August 22, 2009


see also: this (now destroyed) house built from demolished barns, from this fpp. (also, this one from the same site, roadsideamerica.)
posted by not_on_display at 2:55 PM on August 22, 2009


That kid's video charmed the pants off me. Great find.
posted by mkultra at 3:03 PM on August 22, 2009


Wait. This is a cool treehouse.
posted by orme at 3:05 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


ethnomethodologist, my daughter wanted a treehouse, so I took a week's vacation and built her one this July. It's more of a tree fort, actually, but it's entirely held up by live trees - no posts. It is 10 feet up, has a railing lined with snow fence to keep the kids from getting airborne, and best of all, it has a counterweighted drawbridge/ladder that folds up in the middle.

I put a lot of thought into it, because I wanted to do better than the one I built for myself when I was a kid. It was a box made out of packing crates in an apple tree. While it was probably more stable than Jacob's, its main function seemed to be attracting spiders.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:15 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


timeo danaos, I would also add the oft overlooked, underappreciated, and most times ignored:

7)It doesn't destroy the tree supporting it.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:21 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


A list of the 5 Most Inspiring Tree House Hotels (the one in Brazil has 5 miles of catwalks!), and an example from Bali.
posted by vronsky at 3:29 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I built my kids a treehouse a couple weeks ago. No chipboard, but it kind of looked more like Jacobs' than the architect's.

But I was really hoping someone would chime in and say, "No, you don't get it - the Japanese guys is saying the exact same thing as Jacob!" Alas I suspect he's not. Point, Jacob.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:09 PM on August 22, 2009


Treehouses MUST be built by kids. That is the whole point. Spending a whole summer from daylight to after dark banging away on the odd bits of stolen lumber. I miss those dangerous days.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:27 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


timeo danaos, I would also add the oft overlooked, underappreciated, and most times ignored:

7)It doesn't destroy the tree supporting it.


P.o.B., you are absolutely correct: it is essential to the spirit of the enterprise that the tree remain alive!

I've had a vague recollection of a literary tree house description nagging at me since this thread was posted, and I finally tracked it down in The Blithedale Romance:

Long since, in this part of our circumjacent wood, I had found out for myself a little hermitage. It was a kind of leafy cave, high upward into the air, among the midmost branches of a white-pine tree. A wild grapevine, of unusual size and luxuriance, had twined and twisted itself up into the tree, and, after wreathing the entanglement of its tendrils around almost every bough, had caught hold of three or four neighboring trees, and married the whole clump with a perfectly inextricable knot of polygamy. Once, while sheltering myself from a summer shower, the fancy had taken me to clamber up into this seemingly impervious mass of foliage. The branches yielded me a passage, and closed again beneath, as if only a squirrel or a bird had passed. Far aloft, around the stem of the central pine, behold a perfect nest for Robinson Crusoe or King Charles! A hollow chamber of rare seclusion had been formed by the decay of some of the pine branches, which the vine had lovingly strangled with its embrace, burying them from the light of day in an aerial sepulchre of its own leaves. It cost me but little ingenuity to enlarge the interior, and open loopholes through the verdant walls. Had it ever been my fortune to spend a honeymoon, I should have thought seriously of inviting my bride up thither, where our next neighbors would have been two orioles in another part of the clump. -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
posted by timeo danaos at 4:31 PM on August 22, 2009


A treehouse must:
1. Be built in a live tree.
2. Have all of its weight supported by the tree.
3. Unless it is built by a kid.

Those hippie, eco, art, ressurecting-the-inner-child things I see, need to quit being referred to as treehouses.
I suggest epidomos.
posted by vapidave at 5:30 PM on August 22, 2009


"The branches yielded me a passage, and closed again beneath, as if only a squirrel or a bird had passed."

timeo danaos is my new favorite mefite of the moment for dropping Hawthorne quotes in my thread :)

The only thing literary connected to treehouses that sprang to my mind was this.
posted by vronsky at 7:40 PM on August 22, 2009


The literary thing that sprang to my mind was the Tree-elves in Lord of the Rings.
posted by not_on_display at 8:35 PM on August 22, 2009


Oh, and the walk to the second tree reminded me of all of those "scary hiking trails" youtubes like this one.
posted by not_on_display at 9:59 PM on August 22, 2009


U! S! A! U! S! A!
posted by bardic at 11:25 PM on August 22, 2009


Well, I give it Jacob, hands down. Let's not forget, also that a tree house doesn't necessarily need to be UP in the tree. (And if you haven't read that book, you must read it without delay, to bring back all of your "who needs adults anyway" childhood longings.)
posted by nax at 4:28 AM on August 23, 2009


Man i wish we had a camcorder when i was growing up... we had a number of treehouses that were built in similar (semi-legal) ways all throughout our own local jungle of canton michigan lovingly called "tarzan trails". The suburb surrounding it could only intrude so far, as it was actually a protected wetland preserve which gave us an awesome place to play and learn to be carpenters.

Our best house was one that was built between 4 10+ year old trees with no branches on them for about the first 20 feet. We built a 3 story cube between them, each floor was about an 7 foot square. This was done by 5-6 12 year olds with go-karts to lug supplies from the construction site to the woods. We even had electricity going to it, used to power a boombox and a lamp, attached to a streetlight that had an outlet and about 900 feet of extension cord. There's gotta be pictures of that somewhere.

Maybe i'll end up living in a treehouse.
posted by phylum sinter at 6:12 AM on August 23, 2009


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