Seeing the wood for the trees

This is my review of New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson.

As "arboreal architect" Pete Nelson states, "we all know that anyone in their right mind likes treehouses" but he has taken up what remains for most children the stuff of fantasy and applied his considerable vision and energy to constructing a variety of treehouses for the enjoyment of real-life adults. Clearly, most of his clients are wealthy or eccentric, and each treehouse is individually designed to reflect their tastes.

In this well-illustrated book, he photographs examples of treehouses from around the world, ranging from a Cambodian tree shrine, through attractive residences or tourist accommodation to rival a Frank Lloyd Wright design, to "Horace's Cathedral" in Tennessee.

Dedicated to the training of a new generation of treehouse builders, Nelson is keen to develop "sustainable" construction that does not damage trees. Although this book only covers building techniques in passing, many photographs show the skilful use of ropes, and discreet use of bolts and brackets. Nelson's camera has focused on designs which may be bold and original but which are careful to harmonise with the shape and colouring of the surrounding and supporting branches. Houses are often built round trunks which curve or strike up through floors, platforms and roofs.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars

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