Culture Books

This gloriously illustrated book will take you back to a childhood dream

The idea of living up in trees like Tarzan thrilled the young adventurer in us. Tree Houses, Fairy Castles in the Air, proves some people never outgrew the dream.
Alo Lantin | Aug 29 2018

We all were that kid, once upon a time. The one that dreamed of putting up a tree house. Maybe it was a summer break whimsy, something you worked on with dad on the weekends. The thrill of living up in the trees like Tarzan excited the young adventurer in us. And through the re-release of Tree Houses, Fairy Castles in the Air, we find out some people never gave up on that dream.

Tree Houses, Fairy Castles in the Air is among publishing company Taschen’s most treasured works. Compiled by architecture writer Philip Jodidio and featuring illustrations by Patrick Hubry, the book showcases 50 different tree houses from across the world, as well as short snippets from interviews with the architects that created them.

 

The book is a gift to lovers of tree houses and architecture alike, a celebration to the most fantastic of these arboreal wonders. It is a stimulant to active imaginations, touring readers through the most fantastic examples of these dreamy abodes. All kinds of tree houses are featured here, from simple homes to entire hotels, from playgrounds to perches to actual restaurants suspended in the branches of massive trees. They have been built in multifarious architectural styles, from the sleek and ultra-modern to the cozy and romantic, the rustic and rural.

The book is almost a celebration of ecology and mindfulness of the environment, presenting the marriage of man and nature by means of a good eye and sheer architectural ingenuity. An illustration of each tree house can be found throughout the book, and little biographies of the architects behind each of the featured houses are interwoven amongst the pictures, giving faces to the artisans that dreamed these structures up in the first place.

If you’ve found yourself with a copy of Tree Houses you’ll find it very easy to navigate. The pages are beautifully laid out, each spread a combination of uncluttered photography and minimal text, written by Jodidio or extracted from interviews, which only serves to add more vibrancy to what is already on display throughout the book’s 352 pages.

Tree Houses has just been re-released as part of Taschen’s Bibliotheca Universalis, a compilation containing 100 of the publishing companies’ top works since they were founded in the 1980s. This, as well as the other titles under Bibliotheca Universalis, can be found on Taschen’s website, www.taschen.com. If you like this book, you can check out other works by Jodidio that are being distributed by Taschen, including a book called Architecture Now! However, if you’re content with Tree Houses, then find a quiet spot and allow it to take you back to one of the most innocent of your summer fantasies.