© Alaisdair Jardine. Baumraum, Andreas Wenning, Between Alder and Oak, Osnabrück, Germany.
What was it about tree houses that so appealed to us as children? The idea of secluding oneself in a space entirely our own—up in the air away from the adult world that was maddeningly always trying to pull us back to solid ground—was certainly a part of the allure. Being closer to the natural world, to the birds, squirrels and other creatures we saw roaming the tress, probably also caused us to imagine having our own little palace in the sky. One look at the marvelous and varied structures in Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air, a new book by architecture writer Philip Jodido published by Taschen, and we are transported back to childhood, and begin wondering just why it is we can’t live in a tree house as adults? The book provides readers a photographic tour of 50 of the best and most interesting tree houses around the world, which vary from rustic to modern and chic. The book also makes us wonder whether our childhood affinity for tree houses helped pave the way for the concern for ecological sustainability that has become ingrained in contemporary society.