Sometimes I find in internet or people send me picture defines as “treehouses that are not treehouses, but what makes a treehouse a real one?
In The Treehouse Guide you can find the proper definition:
The word ‘treehouse’ and phrase ‘tree house’ are synonymous. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a tree house as: “A structure built in the branches of a tree for children to play in.” The Treehouse Guide (this site) further defines a treehouse as: “A structure built in or around a tree which interacts with, and relies upon, the tree for its support. A treehouse consists of a roofed platform defining a sheltered space which may be fully enclosed for protection from the elements.”
But, well … now for sure you are wondering: ” Yes, but sometimes I saw treehouses with an extra support, is this a treehouse?” For me yes, but the main structure has to be supported by the tree! If the house lies on the ground or if it is supported just by pilotes or a small tree -that alone couldn’t support the house- this is not a treehouse!
I give you two examples:
The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun Architects, even if it’s a good project it’s not a treehouse! But a house in the tree, because the whole building is suported by pilotes.
Pic by Joe Fletcher
The second example is the Casa Árbol in Ecuador. This is a treehouse!
The whole house is supported by the tree, just the stairs have a structure that’s not linked with the tree. But, if we take the stairs structure away, the house will remain on the tree.
If you have any other questions, just write me, I’ll be happy to answer you!