If you've ever set foot in a treehouse, you'll know that it comes with its own kind of quiet wonder -- regardless of your age. Perhaps it's also the recent bounty of higher-end treehouses that's finally allowed adults to enjoy themselves in the trees, whether they're designer treehouses, little tea shacks or these gorgeous tree lounges by Santa Barbara, California-based architecture firm Studio XYZ.
Inspired by boat design, this tree lounge by Studio XYZ designer and builder Nils V Hammerbeck was created to allow the client to float in a sea of foliage, rather than water. Looking very much like a boat that has miraculously ended up in a tree, it nevertheless plays out a primordial idea, says Hammerbeck:
The ideas of lounging outside, of sleeping under the stars, and of connecting directly with nature and her rhythms are as old as time itself. Similarly, climbing trees to get a better view and to occupy a higher advantage are memories that stir in the collective conscience, often of youth.
The suspended lounge came about as a way for the client to enjoy sunsets, since the only clear views were from forty feet up in the largest tree on the property.
The lounge is accessible via a series of bridges and ladders which use a system of ropes and pulleys -- preventing children from accidentally climbing up. The boat-like platform is entered through a hatch, and is equipped with a solar panel to power LED lights and music. Says Hammerbeck:
The boat is a galactic voyager on the other hand and is out of bounds without adult supervision. It is... used to both enjoy a bottle of wine at sunset with friends and clients, as well as to sleep under the glory of the Milky Way without sacrificing the comforts of indoors. Forty five feet up an oak, it floats on steel cables and supports a king size futon and up to 5 adults in luxurious comfort. It was prefabricated on the ground and then reassembled in the tree with the help of a temporary bamboo scaffolding system and arborist technologies.
It's an elegantly executed, nautical take on treebound habitats, which like a real boat, offers unfettered views of the heavens and the horizon. More construction images and details of Studio XYZ's habitable tree sculptures on the website.