Is This a Treehouse?

Golany Architects Treehouse Design
My idea of a treehouse used to be a house that doesn’t touch the ground; one that is suspended completely in the air through the strength and grace of the branches of one or more trees.

Having seen so many amazing ways people have incorporated trees into house design, I’ve come to realize that my original definition was far too narrow.  For instance, what about houses that are built in a tree, but which use supports anchored to the ground?  Still okay?

Without those supports, the trees would be under a lot of duress, possibly ripping apart in the long run.  Should we disqualify those merciful constructions from our definition?

If we accept those grounded structures as treehouses, then what about abodes that are partly built on the ground and only segments are elevated into the trees themselves?  Getting iffy?

Well today’s featured house has stretched my definition to the breaking point.  I’m not sure whether to call it a treehouse at all.  It’s built entirely on the ground but incorporates two trees into the design.

The Isreali company Golany Architects built this beauty out of  a shipping container, adorning it with a gorgeous wood exterior.  When they arrived at the building site, they realized that there were two trees growing right where they had planned to build.  Instead of razing the trees to the ground, they wisely decided to work the trees into their plan.

The result is spectacular.  To me, it evokes the same feelings I get when I think about treehouses.  Living so close to these great living beings, having such majestic life right in your living space, and considering nature through the re-use of materials and respecting the trees’ right to exist — all of these elements encapsulate the ideal of harmony with nature that treehouses represent to me.

What do you think?  Treehouse or not?

You can check out more images of this house at inhabit, where I got the one above.  You can see some more at Golany Architects’ site.