TREEHOUSES OF THE WORLD

Pete Nelson, Author, Radek Kurzaj, Photographer , photos by Radek Kurzaj. Abrams $35 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4952-2

A principal of the Seattle-based construction company Treehouse Workshop and the author of three previous treehouse books, Nelson can safely be said to be solidly grounded in his knowledge of the subject; he presents everything from elevated basic wooden shelters to California-style ranches to turreted abodes resembling that of Pip's friend Wemmick in Great Expectations —fanciful and Victorian. The 250 full-color photos from Kurzaj (The Abrams Guide to American Houses ) show great sympathy and felicity of composition, invitingly maximizing the natural settings. While the title promises diversity, about half of the houses are in the United States (with a West Coast majority built by Nelson), a quarter or so in Europe and most of the rest in Japan. And materials and location do dictate a certain uniformity—the houses are not as different on first and second look as one would expect. But Nelson's knowledgeability about modes of design and construction come through in colloquial, first-person text that includes short bios of the various houses' part-time inhabitants, and, if he did the building, Nelson's role in making them happen. The lovely photos and thoughtful layout complete the feel of climbing up to an alternative aerial domicile as one turns the pages. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/11/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8109-9189-7
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