Category Archives: Architecture

Amazing sustainable housing ideas happening right now.

More Alternative Homes

When I was a kid, I liked nothing better than to climb up a big tree, find a comfy perch, and sit and listen to the birds. I lived in a fairly wooded area in New York and my next door neighbors actually had a small forest in their backyard. There was something about being safely up above everyone else, sharing space with creatures of the air and listening to the leaves rustle – seeing the patterns sunlight made as it shone on and through the leaves. My best friend and I (see my earlier post “Old Friends”) built and played in many a treehouse. I still dream about having one today, although the trees and palm trees in my California backyard are not amenable to a treehouse!

So when I saw these photos on a website, I was so excited, I had to share them with you. Can you imagine living in a home like this high above the ground? I think about how I would decorate such a home inside…then I think perhaps no decoration is needed, the sheer atmosphere of such a home would be enough. The only dilemma would be how to rig up a toilet system. I guess since gravity is on your side, you could just hook up some kind of pipe system that goes to a septic tank underground.

The treehomes below were designed by Dustin Felder; he calls them “O2 Sustainability Treehouses”. These designs do not harm the tree. All the materials are entirely recycled. They are made of translucent 1/16″ triangulated polypropylene panels, some of which open up to provide air circulation.

This last treehouse reminds me of a toy one of my birds has. It’s a small coconut with a hole in it and a small perch so he can get inside. I can’t remember where I found this photo so whoever the architect and photographer are, kudos to you. This one looks like it might be warmer than the treehouse above, but I suppose those with claustrophobia need not apply!



Filed under Architecture, Ecology, Life

The Ultimate Recycle

I was watching one of my favorite programs on the Sundance Channel the other day called “Big Ideas for a Small Planet”. It deals with new and old ideas for conserving and producing energy and resources. This most recent program dealt with a fantastic recycling idea in the architectural field.

Francie Rehwald, a 60-year-old retiree and Mercedes Benz dealership heiress, decided she wanted to build a home in Victorville, California. She requested that the home be curvy (with feminine lines), and it had to be environmentally friendly. She enlisted the help of architect David Hertz of Santa Monica. He came up with the idea of using a scrapped Boeing 747-200 jet; according to Hertz a scrapped jet could be purchased for merely the value of the aluminum used in the plane’s construction – which is approximately $30,000. In his plan, the wings would be used as a roof and the ailerons would control the shade on the deck. The nose would be reborn as a meditation temple. Some of the remaining scrap would be turned into shelters for barn animals. The cost of the project would be approximately $2 million (hey – she’s an heiress – no problem).

Since the completed project would look from the air like scattered pieces of a plane (which in essence is what it is!), the FAA has asked that “special numbers” be painted on the wings to let pilots flying overhead know that the site is not a crash site.

Below is the architect’s rendering of the finished project.

photo: BBC News


Filed under Architecture, Art, Ecology, Life