Thursday, January 17, 2008

Top 8 Most Amazing Tree Houses

1. These incredible looking tree houses are called ‘Free Spirit Spheres’ and are designed by Tom Chudleigh, and is an eco-friendly living quarter that was created to co-exist unobtrusively with its forest environment. Wooden spheres are built much like a cedar strip canoe or kayak, suspension points are similar to the chain plate attachments on a sailboat and the stairways hang from a tree much like a sailboats shrouds hang from the mast. If you are more curios about these awesome tree houses you can see tour of this tree house in the video below.

2. The 4TreeHouse was designed by Lukasz Kos a masters student at the University of Toronto’s School of Architecture & Design. Posing as a Japanese lantern on stilts, Kos’ creation floats within the fir trees on Lake Muskoka, Ontario, an elegant slatted structure that scales the trees and lets light radiate down it’s core. - Via - Inhabitat

3. Sybarite is one of the most exciting architectual practices in London. The conceptual treehouse pictured above is one of the projects from UK-based Sybarite design. This treehouse is a modular system which capitalises on the beauty of its setting whilst minimising its impact upon it. The layout, along with panoramic windows, maximise benefit of the sun path, orientated so the kitchen enjoys morning light whilst the living and bedroom spaces have the pleasure of the sunset and twilight. The flexible form, comprised of modular prefabricated sections, enables configurations ranging from one to five bedrooms. The company’s site reports, “The prefabricated design can be installed on site within two weeks and is extremely lightweight, uses many recycled products, is part self-sustainable and low on maintenance.”

4. Three MIT designers - Mitchell Joachim, Lara Greden and Javier Arbona - created this living treehouse in which the dwelling itself merges with its environment and nourishes its inhabitants. This home concept is intended to replace the outdated design solutions at Habitat for Humanity. Until now this house is just a concept, an a really cool one. Despite its odd exterior, the house will look normal on the inside. The walls, packed with clay and plastered over, will keep out the rain, and modern technology will be welcome. You can find more informations about this project here, and below is a short video ( 18 sec ) that presents the house.

5. This amazing treehouse above was designed by Takashi Kobayashi, one of japan’s leading treehouse creators. This house was designed after an advertising agency in Tokyo, hired him to design a treehouse for a Nescafé commercial now running on Japanese television. Mr. Kobayashi built an oval bird’s nest of a house, 12 feet high and 9 feet in diameter, reached by a circular staircase, and the final price for this tree house was about $38,000. The house is located on a field there owned by the town of Kamishihoro, where it remains an enticing, if off-limits, gift from Nestlé, the makers of Nescafé, to the people of Hokkaido. - Via - NyTimes

6. German cooperative Baumraum knows how to keep imagination alive in their homes. They create treetop dwellings which integrate beautifully into their forested surroundings, and preserve the integrity of the trees that support them. With the breezy playfulness of a hammock and the trusted stability of an old oak tree, baumraum won’t make you grow up to enjoy a sophisticated house. Now you can have your very own treehouse with a cool design thanks to Baumraum an architects studio from Germany.

7. Dustin Feider had a different vision: one that would be good for the tree, the environment and the deep human need to reconnect with nature and our primordial roots. Through his company, O2 Treehouse, Feider is out to revolutionize not merely treehouses but the entire concept of habitat. All the materials used for the treehouse are entirely recycled - and while the original O2 Sustainability Treehouse is 13 feet wide, interiors and sizes can be customized according to customer specifications.

8. When the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland laid out plans to create the largest public gardens in all of Europe, they commissioned the TreeHouse Co. to create a gigantic tree house that would house a 120-seat restaurant, a retail shop, two classrooms, and tow private dining rooms. Opened in January, 2005, the Treehouse at Alnwick Gardens is a labyrinth of turrets, treetop walkways, and cavernous spaces. At 6,000 square feet, it’s one of the largest wooden tree houses in the world.

Russia in Miniature to Rise from the Black Sea

Dubai's artificial islands are about to get a little competition: a miniature "Russia" in the Black Sea off Sochi, Russia, that will house athletes for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia still over 6 years away, the city's planning committee isn't wasting any time... they've asked a consortium of Japanese companies to help build a massive 350-hectare island complex - shaped like Russia - in the Black Sea to house Olympic athletes.

Since Sochi won the right to host the 22nd Winter Olympics, property prices have risen as much as 40 percent, making the estimated $6.2 billion cost of "Federation Island" seem like a very good investment. Post-games plans for the group of 10 artificial islands include apartments and villas for up to 25,000 residents.

The project is seen by both Russia and Japan as a unique way of improving relations between the two nations. "Japan's participation and their technology is particularly interesting to Russia," stated Aslan Atabiyev, head of the Russian-Japanese business council in Tokyo recently. Japanese construction firms have earned an international reputation for building in earthquake prone areas, and the Sochi region in southern Russia does indeed have a "shaky" history.

The project will also provide much-needed work for Japanese builders hurt by the country's lingering economic doldrums and reduced government spending on public works projects. (via Trendhunter and

Ice Piano in 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo at Sun Island Scenic Area in Harbin, north-east China

Visitors to a snow-carving event in China can play a life-size ice piano. But it does not need an icy maestro – the instrument can play automatically and has a repertoire of 30 songs. It has been made for the 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo at Sun Island Scenic Area in Harbin, north-east China.

MANNED CLOUD Cruise Airship(Flying hotel), Paris, France

Here’s another designer dirigible: Manned Cloud is a flying hotel proposed by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud.

The whale-shaped airship, developed with French national aerospace research body ONERA, will be able to accommodate 40 guests and have a range of 5,000 km.

Manned Cloud will have a cruising speed of 130 km/h and a top speed of 170 km/h. Two two-deck cabin will contain amenities including a restaurant, a library, a fitness suite and a spa. There will also be a sun deck on top of the double helium-filled envelopes.

Technical characteristics:
Capacity: 40 passengers + 15 crew members
Volume: 520.000 m3
Dimensions: L 210m x W 82m x H 52 m
First deck (500 m2) : Restaurant, lounge, library, fitness
Second deck (600 m2) : 20 rooms, terraces, spa, bar
Range : 5000 km / 72 h.
Maximum speed: 170 km/h
Cruising speed: 130 km/h