Emmanuel Grymonpré has invented a new style of treehouse. The shelters he's built in trees overlooking the Spanish Pyrenees don't rely on any ground support. Instead they're suspended like birdcages over 20 feet in the air by simple cables.
When Grymonpré and his wife Karin Van Veen came to the Catalan countryside to fulfill their dream of opening a resort in the trees, neither had ever built a treehouse before. Though Grymonpré had spent a decade in the Venezuelan wilderness building adventure parks and he knew he could use his understanding of the forest and trees to create something unique.
Instead of building a platform to support his high-flying cabins from below, Grymonpré projected his design upward. He first built his shelters on the ground and then raised them four to seven meters (13 to 22 feet) into the air. Once air-borne, he then fixed them in place by inserting a stainless-steel rod through the tree from which he hung cables to envelop the treehouses with adequate force to suspend them.
The treehouses at the couples Cabanes als Arbres resort can be reached by suspension bridges and trap doors and once "tree-board" inhabitants are truly isolated from all that is not natural. There's no electricity, no cellphone service and no running water. Toilets are a simple bucket with sawdust. The sink is a pitcher of water and a basin. Candles serve for light.
Watch Kirsten's feature-length documentary on tiny homes: "We the Tiny House People: Small Homes, Tiny Flats & Wee Shelters in the Old and New World."
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