SANCTUARY OF THE MANOA VALLEY
High above the noise and frantic energy of Honolulu, a century-old banyan tree serves as the spiritual and structural backbone for a series of interconnected dwellings known as “The Treehouse.” Attached to the open lanai of a Japanese style home and looking down onto the beaches of Waikiki, this is a network of people focused on the future and living in harmony with their surroundings.
A Living Jungle
SIX STORIES ABOVE THE FOREST FLOOR
From the street, what looks to be a typical suburban home gives way to a structure that defies any sense and what we are accustomed. Visitors meet with familiar furnishings that transition seamlessly into a living jungle. There are no double-paned windows or plaster walls to offer protection. This is life in the raw, at the center of an unruly and electrified natural world. High above a tropical river, hand-crafted structures are strung together with vines and intuition, thin mosquito nets offering little comfort against strong winds and a teeming ecosystem. Here you are vulnerable, one amongst thousands of creatures out to survive the night.
This adventure requires the trust of a guide and whatever battery is left on your cell phone. There are several levels, some more sturdy than others, some only accessible to those who are athletic enough to reach them. It is up to the visitor how far this goes, every step over sixty feet in the air. When the night finally relents, a chorus of birds takes center stage, leaving those who stay relieved and thankful to be a part of the natural world.
LIVING WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
The treehouse stands in opposition to a selfish and myopic society with those who come here dedicated to improving the environment and our communities. The dwellings, fishnets, rope bridges, everything that you encounter has been reclaimed from the ocean. At times, it is hard to distinguish where the recycling ends and the tree begins. There are no right angles here, only twisting stairways and relics of faded decades. Staying as nature’s guest leaves a lasting impression of conservation, making do with what we have and hope for the future.