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Artistree raises a telescopic treehouse in California

American company Artistree Home has designed an arched, elevated treehouse in Sonoma County, California.

Completed in 2023, the latest model – known as Spyglass by Hometree – is a 300-square-foot (28-square-meter) residence set in a wooded 11-acre (5-hectare) lot in Occidental, California.

wood fired hot tub in the trees
Artistree Home created a treehouse with an arched shape in California

“The design of Spyglass was born from that whimsical childhood moment of turning a fallen leaf into a little tube to look through,” Artistree Home project designer Will Beilharz told Dezeen. “With a dynamic cut at each end, the cylindrical shape takes up the dynamic movement of the folded leaf.”

The design centers on a large redwood tree that supports the bridge structure. The black metal bridge rises up the hillside with a single-step entrance bridge. Hovering 25 feet (8 meters) above the ground, the house is elevated on thin steel poles that minimize environmental disturbance.

Domed entrance to the treehouseDomed entrance to the treehouse
The design is inspired by the folding of a fallen leaf into a tube

The exterior of the tube is made of rust-textured metal diamond shingles designed to mimic the color and texture of redwood bark.

The linear house is compact with an entry gateway, a walk-through kitchenette and a bathroom with round tiles that follow the curve of the space. The center of the plan houses the bedroom leading to the back deck with a cedar hot tub.

Wooden spa on deckWooden spa on deck
A large redwood supports the structure

On the inner profile of the tube, tongue-and-groove panels – reminiscent of walking in a hollowed-out log – continue from the soffit through the living space and back to the terrace, reinforcing the perspective over the forest.

The back wall is entirely glazed, creating an opening that frames nature and overlooks the tree that stands in the center of the terrace.

Dome TreehouseDome Treehouse
The exterior is covered in rust-textured metal diamond shingles.

“Never underestimate the impact of fantasy in design. Time and time again, our facilities have proven that inspiring, nature-centered experiences are timeless and speak deeply to everyone. Beilharz mentioned.

“Even after designing the structure, I am still struck by how the space can be both calming and exciting – like the combination of a spa and a playground,” he continued .

Exterior timber cladding in PEFC-certified and thermally modified Thermory Scots pine, while a heat pump water heater reduces the energy required.

The sustainable residence includes three layers of insulation with hemp wool batts, a layer of closed-cell spray foam and a radiant barrier. The materials reduce the overall carbon footprint and a small mini-split handles the heating and cooling load of the treehouse.

wooden kitchenettewooden kitchenette
Tongue and groove panels line the interior

“We designed our Spyglass unit to be both luxurious and repeatable, so we offer it as a prefabricated unit with the ability to modify the foundation to suit the property’s terrain and landscape trees ” said Beilharz.

“If we’ve done our job right, guests entering the space for the first time should feel the same rush of youthful discovery found among the trees.”

Using a similar access bridge, BIG built a treehouse in Swedish Lapland and covered it with birdhouses.

Photography is by Jayson Carpenter.

Project credits:

Interior decorator: Home Artisttree
General contractor : Home Artisttree

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