Designed to be easily disassembled, this magnificent treehouse offers panoramic views out into the forest.
Treehouses have 'grown up' in recent years -- at least, in our popular perception of them. No longer are they relegated to mere kiddie constructions, but they're now appearing in a wide range of adult-suitable sizes and forms: some are inspired by sailboat design, while others are modern gems with their own plumbing.
And some treehouses, like this stunning structure by Oakland, California-based O2 Treehouse, defy classification completely. Shaped like a pinecone that's reminiscent of a zome and suspended from the redwood trees, the wood- and steel-framed treehouse features 64 diamond-shaped panes of durable acrylic, creating a crystal-clear shelter 60 feet up in the air.
Designed by O2 Treehouse founder Dustin Feider, Pinecone Treehouse is accessible via a steel alternating-tread staircase -- it's certainly more secure than a rope ladder.
As Feider tells us, the treehouse's steel super-structure was cut using a CNC tube laser cutter and welded together. The pieces of the Douglas fir frame were screwed to the steel, and the acrylic panels for the windows were attached to the wood frame, and sealed with a rubber gasket. The two rows of windows above the floor are operable, lending an impression that the pinecone is opening.
The treehouse is suspended from its top point using cables that attach to a larger interconnected steel assembly; the angles of the cables have been arranged in a way that reduces lateral tension. In addition, Feider notes: "The redwood trees are guyed back to the ground to transfer what would be lateral force into downward force which effectively turns each tree into a post, and the best structural dynamic for wood: compression."
The interior is pretty simple: two single beds, lit with lamps, and a floor that is partially transparent, thanks to the addition of some clear panels in the floor offering a view down from the treehouse.
The treehouse is partnered with a "indoor/outdoor" bathroom that comes with a shower and composting toilet, housed in a structure closer to ground, which is accessible from the treehouse via a wooden catwalk.
The Pinecone is designed to be easily disassembled and reassembled on a new site, and its pieces can be recycled at the end of its life. It was originally built for home goods company S.C. Johnson as a backdrop to shoot a commercial -- but it's now on sale for USD $150,000 (according to the company, building a new one from scratch would cost about $225,000). Currently, it's also being rented out on AirBnb for anyone who's curious. To find out more, visit O2 Treehouse.