The Nest treehouse is a solar-powered getaway for families 

by Kimberley Mok

ArtisTree

© ArtisTree

Be they inspired by sailboats, Fibonacci spirals or built as prefabs, treehouses amuse and delight, bringing grown-ups back into a world of childlike imagination.

Built by Texas-based treehouse company ArtisTree for Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, The Nest Treehouse brings together imaginative design, alternative energy, recycled materials and wildlife conservation all into one spot. Will Beilharz, founder of ArtisTree and whose family moved to the 88-acre site in 1998 where Cypress Valley Canopy Tours now operates, helped develop it into an eco-destination where people can zipline and now rent the treehouse that his company built. Beilharz gives Jenna of Tiny House Giant Journey a tour of these remarkable treehouses:

© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree

Situated over a spectacular riparian ravine, the treehouse is actually split up into a few spaces connected by walkways, and is equipped with a common kitchen, and a sleeping pod that consists of three different rooms. As Beilharz explains, there is an emphasis on family here, using a multilevel approach to layout that is reminiscent of the Swiss Family Robinson. Much of the wood used in the project is sourced right from the property itself, as well as using reclaimed pallet wood and cider casks to create a distinctive atmosphere of down-to-earth comfort and elegance. The metal arch supports lend lateral bracing to the structure.

© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree

The sleeping pod has a entry and sitting space that leads to two sleeping rooms, both of them tastefully decorated with refurbished materials and items. Circles were used to generate the floor plan, as rounded spaces feel more natural (there is also a yurt up in a tree on the property, dubbed “Lofthaven”).

© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree
© ArtisTree

All the structures have been insulated with lightweight radiant barrier, and some with green roofs. There is an outdoor shower, but there is also an enclosed bathroom closer to ground for chillier days. The complex does have electricity that comes from solar and wind sources right on the property, and most interestingly, will double as a butterfly conservatory in the future (there’s already a hatchery built as part of the treehouse).

We see a lot of treehouses for singles, so it’s great to see an extraordinary project of engineering and imaginative design like this that emphasizes self-sufficient family living, with a bit of ziplining thrown in. For more info, check out ArtisTree and Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.

Tags: Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces | Texas

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