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Terrific Custom Tree Houses Elevate the Childhood Standard

The childhood dream house, a proper treehouse, is a special sort of extravagance. (Just ask little Suri Cruise, whose megafamous parents are building her one that costs $100K.) These five elevated escapes vary in practicality, but there's no arguing with their novelty. The O2 Treehouse (above), designed by Dustin Feider, is constructed entirely from recycled material and uses a geodesic structure for strength and light weight. Feider's company will customize this model for clients, but buyers might want to bring this design a little closer to earth: the prototype is more than 50 feet off the ground.

? Pete Nelson is a man obsessed with tree houses. His books, with titles like Treehouses of the World, are in-depth looks at stunning renditions of the off-beat structure, and his own constructions are some of the most detailed around. This particular number is built out of unfinished local wood in Fall City, Wash.

? This is one of the better versions that Nelson tracked down for his Treehouses of the World tome. Located on the Japanese island of Okinawa, it was built in 2005 as part of a stopover for adventurous backpacking types. The next year it survived the full brunt of a typhoon. How's that for field testing?

? The previous versions all look like small potatoes when set next to this gargantua, the Horace Cathedral in Crossville, Tenn. Inspired by a heavenly vision, Horace Burgess began work on the structure 21 years ago and has since added construction scraps and the recycled wood from five derelict barns.

? This uncredited entry might not have the clean look of Nelson's creations, but it does win out on nostalgia. It's the sort of place any grown-up kid could imagine creating given enough scrap wood, nails, and time. That said, the deck looks like it required some serious engineering prowess.
· Suri Cruise Gets An Expensive Tree House! [Perez Hilton]
· O2 Treehouse [official site]
· Treehouse Workshop, Inc. [official site]
· Beach Rock treehouse [MSN]
· Horace Cathedral [MSN]
· These are not our childhood tree houses [Bohemian Pages]