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12 awe-inspiring tree houses for grown-ups

The appeal of tree houses is primeval – it’s in our genes to climb branches and perch ourselves high above the ground. They simply have a power that other buildings don’t. “It’s that idea of getting away, escaping from the real world … to a place where maybe adults think of childhood dreams,” says Philip Jodidio, author of the new book Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. The gorgeous book features 50 tree houses from around the world, including three in Canada. Some are modernist visions, some mimic nature, others test the boundaries of what we would even think of as tree houses

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Lake House. When kids close their eyes and imagine a Robinson Crusoe-esque dream house, this is probably what they see. Owned by Brazil’s leader builder of tree houses, it is used for "relaxation and entertaining guests."

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Lake House. When kids close their eyes and imagine a Robinson Crusoe-esque dream house, this is probably what they see. Owned by Brazil’s leader builder of tree houses, it is used for "relaxation and entertaining guests."

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Teahouse Tetsu. Tree houses should always have a bit of transportive magic to them, the sense you are escaping to another world, and nothing conjures that feeling of fantasy like this tea house built on the grounds of the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum, in Japan.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Teahouse Tetsu. Tree houses should always have a bit of transportive magic to them, the sense you are escaping to another world, and nothing conjures that feeling of fantasy like this tea house built on the grounds of the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum, in Japan.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Langeais Castle Tree House. Build on the grounds of a medieval castle in France, this tree house has six stairways leading to six levels, the highest of which is 10 metres about ground level. Climbing high is not cheap – it cost approximately $104, 000 to build.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Honey Sphere Tree House. Buckminster Fuller, who popularized geodesic domes, would love this tree house, owned by Robby Krieger, the guitarist of the Doors.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Honey Sphere Tree House. Buckminster Fuller, who popularized geodesic domes, would love this tree house, owned by Robby Krieger, the guitarist of the Doors.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Horace’s Cathedral. Perhaps the largest tree house in the world – it is 30 metres tall –was built in Tennessee, after Horace Burgess said he began building it after having a vision in 1993. "The Lord said, ‘If you build me a tree house, I’ll see you never run out of material,’" he said.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Horace’s Cathedral. Perhaps the largest tree house in the world – it is 30 metres tall –was built in Tennessee, after Horace Burgess said he began building it after having a vision in 1993. "The Lord said, ‘If you build me a tree house, I’ll see you never run out of material,’" he said.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Djuren Tree House. It may have an ultra modern form, but to get up to this tree house you have to climb a ladder, a classic element that leads to an intermediate terrace.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Djuren Tree House. It may have an ultra modern form, but to get up to this tree house you have to climb a ladder, a classic element that leads to an intermediate terrace.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Djuren Tree House. It may have an ultra modern form, but to get up to this tree house you have to climb a ladder, a classic element that leads to an intermediate terrace.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Between Alder and Oak. This tree house in Germany features glazing on all sides to provide a full view of nature from every angle.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Between Alder and Oak. This tree house in Germany features glazing on all sides to provide a full view of nature from every angle.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Clara’s Tree House. Designed to fit in to gardens or be suspended from branches, this tree house by German architects Schneider+Schumacher costs approximately $11, 500.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Clara’s Tree House. Designed to fit in to gardens or be suspended from branches, this tree house by German architects Schneider+Schumacher costs approximately $11, 500.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Clara’s Tree House. Designed to fit in to gardens or be suspended from branches, this tree house by German architects Schneider+Schumacher costs approximately $11, 500.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Cabin Tree Hotel. With an interior that measures 24 square metres, this modern tree house features a double bed, bathroom and terrace that can accommodate two people.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Cabin Tree Hotel. With an interior that measures 24 square metres, this modern tree house features a double bed, bathroom and terrace that can accommodate two people.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Cabin Tree Hotel. With an interior that measures 24 square metres, this modern tree house features a double bed, bathroom and terrace that can accommodate two people.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Bird’s Nest Tree Hotel. Part of a Tree Hotel complex in Sweden, this tree house may mimic its namesake on the outside, but inside it actually forms a perfect circle.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the Bird’s Nest Tree Hotel. Part of a Tree Hotel complex in Sweden, this tree house may mimic its namesake on the outside, but inside it actually forms a perfect circle.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the 4tree House. The 4tree house, so named because it is wrapped around four trees, has three separate levels, all of which overlook Lake Muskoka.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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All images from Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. This one is the 4tree House. The 4tree house, so named because it is wrapped around four trees, has three separate levels, all of which overlook Lake Muskoka.

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

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